New Road Rules for Winter Driving

ByABC News via logo

Jan. 1, 2007 — -- Year after year, vehicles slip and slide out of control as winter conditions wreak havoc, often rendering even the most experienced drivers helpless -- but some of the rules drivers have been taught for years have changed.

NASCAR champion Tony Stewart tested his winter driving skills in upstate New York at a charity event for his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli. He practiced several tips that experts say can help drivers stay safe when they find themselves behind the wheel in bad weather.

The old way taught drivers to pump the brakes to improve stopping distances or to help regain control on slippery surfaces.

Instead, they should squeeze the brake and maintain control, holding pressure on the brake instead of pumping.

The rule has changed partly because 60 percent of all new cars sold in the United States have anti-lock brakes, rendering pumping the brakes obsolete.

The old rule taught drivers that they can't detect black ice until it's too late. The new school way says to watch the windshield.

Behind another car, if the street is wet, there should be sprays of water on the windshield. No liquid on the windshield can indicate that there is black ice on the road.

The old school tip taught drivers to steer into the direction of a skid. That line of thinking hasn't really changed. It's still the best approach.

Proper treads on tires is critical. In winter driving conditions, cars always need to have proper tread.

Remember, when the roads are bad, even race car drivers slow down and take their time.

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