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Slick Driving Conditions Require Extra Driver Caution

Slippery driving conditions require extra driver caution, says AAA Michigan, responding to emergency calls prompted by snow in the northern lower peninsula or sheets of ice in the southwest lower peninsula. The Club suggests the following driving tips for a safer commute, which are applicable for any drivers in wintry weather:

Intersections: * Slow down before approaching an intersection. Scan left and right for pedestrians and cars on cross streets. If you###re having trouble stopping, they will, too. * Prepare for drivers sliding into intersections from the side. Can you proceed safely through the intersection or should you stop to avoid a collision? * After a stop, press the accelerator slowly to get going again. With manual transmissions, reduce wheel spin by starting in second gear. If you have an automatic transmission equipped with second-gear start, use it. Hills: * When approaching an icy hill, pick a path that will allow the most traction. * Watch the cars ahead of you. Steer clear of spots where they spin their wheels or slide backward. Instead, head for unpacked snow or powder to get a better grip. * Keep an 8-10 second cushion between your car and the one ahead of you. * Build speed gradually while you###re still on level ground. If you have shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, shift into it before you reach the hill. * After you###ve surmounted the crest, begin your descent slowly. Shift into a lower gear to allow engine drag, rather than brakes, to reduce your speed. Curves: * Reduce your speed before you enter an icy curve. Sudden acceleration or deceleration while you###re turning will send you into a skid. * If the worst happens and your wheels lose grip, gradually release the pressure from whichever pedal you###re using -- the brake or accelerator. Steer smoothly in the direction you want the car to go. Practice: * Find an empty parking lot to hone your technique. Keep your driving slow and smooth and you can drive safely this winter.

Source: AAA Michigan