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Winter Weather Driving Tips

December 18, 2014
An SUV sits in the snow on an icy road.

Winter weather in Georgia is synonymous with traffic problems. You hear a lot about black ice, sliding, opinions on whether or not snow is actually dangerous. So what advice should you actually follow to stay safe on the highway in winter? The Georgia Department of Transportation has a few safety tips to keep you and your family from harm this season.

  • Pay attention to the DOT crews who are clearing the snow and ice. Don’t try to pass these trucks on the highway, but instead follow at least 100 feet behind them.
  • Slow down to at least half your normal speed. Also make sure to switch down to a low gear as you drive.
  • Treat broken traffic lights as four-way stops. Don’t forget to exercise extra caution because your fellow drivers may not know that the stoplight should be handled this way.
  • Beware of black ice! This road condition isn’t some kind of folk tale, but is actually one of the most dangerous elements of winter driving weather. Accuweather has 3 safety tips for driving on black ice:
  1. Don’t hit the brakes, but keep your steering wheel steady.
  2. Take your foot off the gas.
  3. Don’t try to overcorrect your steering if you begin to slide.
  • Look out for fallen trees or power lines. These hazards can appear anywhere on the roadway, so exercise total caution when driving.

The GDOT is already taking action to make sure Georgia roadways are prepared for wintertime weather this year. You can read their Winter 2016 Weather Preparedness plan to learn about the steps they’re taking to prepare the crews for whatever hazards may hit the roads.

In whatever driving situation you find yourself to be in this year, be sure to exercise total caution and stay off the roads if at all possible. The milk and bread run can probably wait until the ice melts.

Updated January 13, 2016

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.