You’ve seen snow and you’ve seen rain, you’ve seen winter days, and here they are again. Of course you and your car are ready for the hazards of winter driving. You’ve checked the brakes, lights, wiper blades, heater, and tire tread. You have an emergency kit in the trunk and a AAA card in your wallet. But what about all those other drivers—the ones who make fall and winter the top period for weather-related crashes and injuries? How would they score on this quiz?
1) What should you do if your vehicle begins to skid?
A. Blink your headlights and hope for the best.
B. Take off your glasses in case the air bag deploys.
C. Look and steer in the direction you wish to travel, keeping steady, firm pressure on the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, pump the pedal.
2) Your car is covered with snow. What should you do before driving it?
A. Clear the windshield enough to see out and let the wind blow off the rest.
B. Melt the snow on windows with boiling water or hot coffee.
C. Clear the snow from all windows as well as the hood and roof, so it won’t fly off and blind any drivers behind you.
3) A major storm is predicted for the area where you plan to travel. You should:
A. Pay no attention. Those guys are often wrong.
B. Travel at the height of the storm so you’ll have the road to yourself.
C. Listen closely to the weather reports. If possible, leave early or delay your trip.
4) Your vehicle’s winter emergency kit should include:
A. A best-selling book, an inflatable raft, and $10,000 in cash.
B. A Saint Bernard complete with brandy cask.
C. Flares, shovel, sand or cat litter, blanket, emergency light, drinking water, and high-energy food. Plus your cell phone.
5) Which of the following is not a winter driving hazard?
A. Water on the road.
B. Impatient drivers who don’t leave enough stopping distance.
C. Santa’s sleigh parked on your roof.
Even a driver who checks every C answer can learn a lot about safety on winter roads at AAA.com/drivingtips.
This article was first published in January 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.