Car Nation

Join Newsday's car culture discussion.


Safe winter driving predicated on performing one function at a time

Cars slide on a road in Albuquerque, N.M.,

Cars slide on a road in Albuquerque, N.M., after a winter storm. (Nov. 24, 2013) (Credit: AP)

If the stormy weather leading up to Thanksgiving has you worried about safely navigating the roads in your car, the most effective way to mitigate risk is to throw on a set of snow tires.

When Car Nation spoke to Stephen Briere, the New York district manager for Firestone Auto Care, around this time last year, he said it’s undoubtedly the most important step a driver can take.

"Once you make the switch, you’ll never go back to not having snow tires," he told us at the time. "It’s just so safe. So the most important thing is to get the right tires on the car for the cold weather."

And don’t think that because it’s not snowing, or because you have an all-wheel drive car with all-season tires, that you’re exempt from this recommendation. Those beliefs are all myths, according to Mark Cox, a director of the Winter Driving School established by Bridgestone, another tire company.

Granted, it comes as no surprise that people affiliated with tire companies would recommend people purchase an additional set of rubbers. So for those that remain skeptics, and insist on holding out, Cox offered some pretty good winter driving advice in a video posted to the Bridgestone website.

He stressed the importance of adjusting your speed to the condition — and that doesn’t necessarily refer to slowing down in the snow: “Sometimes, an underprepared or underequipped driver who's going too slow is just as much of a problem as a driver who's trying to go to fast,” he said.

Your speed should be dependent on how much traffic there is, what type of tires you’re using, the time of day and your abilities as a driver.

Cox saved his best advice for last.

“When you're driving on ice you have a limited amount of traction — or grip — available” he said in the video. “It's critical that you use all that grip for one thing at a time.”

So you should feel comfortable accelerating, breaking or steering — but not all at once. “Do one thing at a time and try not to overlap those at all.” 

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Optimum AutosClassifieds

Search cars

Build a car

advertisement | advertise on newsday