With the first winter storm of the year bearing down on Long Island, the American Automobile Association released tips on how to drive safely in icy and snowy conditions.
Clean snow and ice off your vehicle. The first step of safe winter driving is to make sure your vehicle can be seen by others by cleaning off all snow and ice, according to AAA. In addition, turn on the vehicle and let the heater run briefly before turning on the defroster.
Increase following distance. The normal following distance on dry pavement is about three to four seconds. On slippery, icy surfaces, that should be increased to eight to 10 seconds, the AAA recommends.
Allow more time for braking. Because you need longer visibility and more time to stop on slippery surfaces, try to focus on a longer-range goal to help account for more braking time. AAA says that if you have an anti-lock braking system, don't take your foot off the brake or pump the pedal if you feel the pedal vibrating or pulsing. The system is responding as it was designed to work.
Steer through the skid. If you find yourself skidding, try to steer safely around any obstacles, because it takes more distance to brake to a stop. Sudden braking can lead to loss of control of the vehicle as well, according to AAA.