Highway Patrol offers driving tips in winter weather

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) --{}The SCHP will beconstantly monitoring roadways for icing and we will have additional resourcesin place for the projected storm.{} We are in contact with several stateagencies and SCDOT so they can treat the areas that may require attention.{}

Listed below are some helpful winter weather driving tips: {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}

Speed- Slow down for wet, snowy, or icy conditions. You will be morelikely to maintain control of your vehicle at lower speeds. Slow down whenapproaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These are allcandidates for developing black ice a thin coating of clear ice that can formon the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.

Following distance- Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and thecar in front of you.

Braking- Use your Brakes carefully. Brake early, brake slowly, brakecorrectly, and never slam on the brakes. Braking gently will help you avoidskidding. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), press the pedal down firmly andhold it. If you don't have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal to avoidwheel lock-up.

Abrupt Maneuvers- Avoid excessive actions while steering, braking or acceleratingto lessen the chances of losing control of the vehicle. When you're driving onsnow, ice or wet roads, avoid abrupt steering maneuvers.

Vehicles- Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Evenfour-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winterroads. If your vehicle is equipped with Electronic-Stability Control (ESC) makesure it's turned on. ESC will assist you in maintaining control of your vehicleif it loses traction. Keep your lights and windshield clean and Turn on yourlights to increase your visibility to other motorists.

Road conditions- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequentlytraveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing,if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposedroadways like bridges. Be aware that road conditions are always changing.

Stay Alert- When driving in adverse road conditions, look farther ahead intraffic than you normally do. Actions by other vehicles will alert you toproblems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to reactsafely.

Cruise Control- Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions. Youneed to be in control of your speed based on road conditions don't let thecruise control make a bad decision for you. -Information provided by a SCHPpress release.

{}{}{} If your vehicle starts to skid you should:

Take your foot off the accelerator.

Counter steer and if the rear of your vehicle is sliding left,steer left into the skid. If it's sliding right, steer right. Steer in thedirection you want the front of the vehicle to go.

If you have standard brakes, then pump them gently.

If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes.Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse -- this isnormal.

If you get stuck:

Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.

Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow outof the way.

Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.

Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and theunderside of the car.

Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of thewheels, to help get traction.

Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first -- itcan damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse,and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas untilthe vehicle gets going.

Be Prepared

Before you head out, make sure you have cleared the snow off yourvehicle's lights, windows, turn signals and brake lights. SCHP advises you tomake sure you can see and be seen.

When traveling in wintry conditions make sure you give yourselfextra time to reach your destination safely.

Winter conditions can be taxing on your vehicle. Check yourvehicle's tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, lights, belts, and hoses to makesure they're in good condition before the start of the winter season. Dressappropriately and carry a blanket in the trunk in case you are stranded. Abreakdown is bad on a good day, and can be dangerous on a bad-weather day.-SCHPpress release.

The SC Highway Patrolwants you to be prepared, so before leaving home find about current drivingconditions. Also keep watching your local news stations or state agencywebsites such as , and for updates.