Driving in Sleet or Snow in Metro Atlanta

Nearly three years ago we were reminded how detrimental a snow storm can be in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Icy weather conditions resulted in thousands being stranded, including students in schools, and empty vehicles on the highways looked like a scene out of a movie. Sadly, the storm even resulted in deaths from traffic accidents. As seldom as it is for that type of weather to hit our region, it’s hard to be fully prepared for its magnitude. Cobb County has already cancelled school in this early new year due to road and travel conditions from icy weather. And metro areas are being warned of possibly sleet again this weekend, even snow in far northern areas of Georgia. While it’s not expected to get as bad as what was experienced in 2014, the dangerous conditions on the roads remain the same. Driving in snow, ice or sleet is not something we deal with often in our area, so it’s best to plan and stay prepared. Below are some tips to keep you and others on the roadways safe throughout the winter.

Drive slow in the snow. Yes, we’re stating the obvious – but urgency to get home and out of the weather can cause drivers to drive faster than they should in such conditions. Have you ever turned the steering wheel too quickly in the rain and felt your tires slide a bit? That action is even worse in the snow. So, slowing down not only applies to acceleration, but to all movements of a vehicle.

Maintain movement. It’s easy to want to stop and go when the roads are icy, but it’s best not to do so. Snow and sleet cause difficulty for tires to maintain a solid grip on roadways and maintain friction. It’s always best to drive slowly and to stop your vehicle as seldom as possible. Slow and steady is key.

Smooth braking. Stopping your vehicle is inevitable, so when doing so, apply the brakes slowly and cautiously. If your tires start to spin and you feel that you are losing control of your vehicle, it’s best to turn the steering wheel in the direction you are spinning and take your foot off the brake. Instincts may cause you to spin them in the opposite way but steering into the turn and not applying your brake can lead to regaining control of the vehicle.

The safest method to safety during winter weather is to stay off the roadways in snow, sleet and icy conditions. But if you find yourself on the roadways during this type of weather, check out our Tips for Prepping Your Vehicle for Winter Weather. Remember the above tips and drive as carefully as possible to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.