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How do you drive in the North Carolina snow?

If you plan on heading into the Charlotte area of North Carolina in the next week or so, police are advising extra caution. The ice and snow is making it difficult for drivers to stay safe on the roads.

To say that North Carolina drivers "aren't exactly used to driving through those kinds of road conditions" is probably a massive understatement. In that area of the United States, a little snow on the roads is cause for big concern.

What if you can't avoid the roads until the foul weather blows over? Here are some tips that the government officials are offering to drivers who can't stay home until the roads clear up again:

  1. Clear your vehicle of ice and snow completely before you drive it. Newcomers to snowy conditions often make the mistake of clearing just their windshield (or part of it), not realizing that snow from their vehicle's roof can slide down at any point and obscure their view. Snow from the hood of your car can also blow back into your windshield, making it harder to see.
  2. Leave early and go slowly. Wherever you're going, give yourself approximately twice the amount of time you'd normally allot to get there. Going slowly allows you to keep a better control over your vehicle. Keep in mind that a vehicle in snow takes up to 10 times the distance to come to a stop that it normally takes.
  3. Aim for the tracks in the road created by vehicles that have traveled the road ahead of you. If you can, avoid any road that isn't plowed or salted. If you can't (and you probably can't), try to line your tires up with the tracks from other cars in order to give your tires a little extra traction on the compressed snow.
  4. Figure out if your brakes have an anti-lock system or not. If they do, pump them slowly in order to bring your vehicle to a stop. If they don't, press the brake down slowly but steadily with the ball of your foot.
  5. If you start to fishtail or spin, throw your car into neutral and lift your foot. Don't slam on the brakes. That can cause the vehicle to rapidly go out of control.

Anybody who is injured in a car accident this winter with an reckless or unprepared driver should consider exploring their legal right to compensation.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "If you must drive in Charlotte this week, here's tips for dealing with the ice, snow," Lavendrick Smith, Jan. 18, 2018

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