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Published On: Fri, Nov 6th, 2015

Slippery Roads: SUV Driving Safety Strategies for Winter Weather

Even an SUV with all-wheel drive can be overcome by dangerous road conditions. If you drive in wet or snowy conditions, here’s what you need to know. It could save your life.

You’re Not Superman

Many people have this mistaken belief that SUVs are indestructible, or near-indestructible. But, even stiff vehicles, like the Kia Sorento, aren’t immune to poor road conditions. SUVs can, and do, slide off the road just like any other vehicle. So, safe driving practices are just as important – maybe even more so.

Keep Your Sneakers Inflated

A vehicle’s tires, which are often affectionately referred to as “sneakers” by mechanics, are what connect you to the road. If they’re underinflated, you can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent or more. But, you can also increase your risk for a rollover or crash.

Inflate your tires to the proper PSI, and monitor them periodically over time.

photo Orgullomoore

photo Orgullomoore

The Only Type Of Tire You Need (Probably)

There’s a lot of debate over which type of tire you need out on a wintery road. But, the truth is that, most of the time, you’ll be fine with standard winter tires. These tires sometimes have diamond studs embedded into them. Other times, they’re tires with special treads made for extra traction.

As long as you swap out old tires with little or no traction, and put good winter treads on for snow, you should be fine. Resist the urge to put chains on your tires. These types of tires are specially made for driving in icy conditions, and their use is often restricted on public roads.

How To Add Weight, And Traction, Without Adding Cargo

For many people, weight will mean all the difference out there on the road – especially when it’s slippery. But, putting more junk in the vehicle isn’t all that helpful because you might need the space. So, how do you add weight without adding stuff?

Answer: keep your fuel tank full. Gasoline weight 6 pounds per gallon. An average SUV gas tank can hold up to 25 gallons, sometimes more. That’s an additional 100 to 150 pounds over an empty or near-empty tank. With the extra weight on the back end, you’ll have more traction when it counts.

How To Stay Out Of People’s Way

Slow down on the road, and maintain at least 2 to 3 car lengths distance between you and everyone else in front of you. This is about the only thing you can control when driving on a busy road. It might mean that you get to where you’re going slower, but it’s not worth getting into an accident.

How To Safely Turn

In the winter, SUVs don’t turn very well. They can tip over or slide. Break sooner than you normally would and take it slow. Take your foot off the accelerator to eliminate “powering through” the turn. But, don’t brake too hard either, or you might slide. Instead, glide through the turn and then gently accelerate out of it.

Guest Author :

Jesse Murillo works in education and has also acquired advanced motoring skills as part of her interest in promoting safe driving for her family and others. She contributes regularly for a number of family-orientated websites.

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