Sheriff's Office

Warren County, Virginia

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Winter Weather Safety

Tips For Driving In The Ice And Snow

Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors. But if you do have to drive in the winter weather, remember these tips.

Photo of snowcovered road and tire

Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

Give space. The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Know your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and need to slow down quickly, press hard on the pedal-it’s normal for the pedal to vibrate a bit when the ABS is activated.

Don’t come to a complete stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down early enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

Don’t power up hills and don’t stop going up a hill. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little momentum going before you reach the hill and let it carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.

Don't use cruise control. When driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand). Quick reactions are needed, be alert and ready to respond to the conditions.


And remember these vehicle safety tips:

  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle. 
  • Never run a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Top off you windshield washer fluid.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Properly clear ice and snow from the windshield and roof of your vehicle
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Keep a winter specific survival kit in your vehicle including items like, a blanket, boots, kity litter and snacks.



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200 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630

24 hour Non-Emergency Phone: 540.635.4128