ABC 15 goes to driving school: Habits to break when driving in wintry weather
Fasten your seat belts everyone, ABC 15 is taking you to driving school. Winter weather equals icy roads and many people still don't know how to drive on them.
The best way to drive in winter weather is not at all, but if you must do it, you want to make sure you remember some things.
"It's bad enough when it's dry, but when it's wet, people don't slow down," said Mike Doneff, who has been teaching driver's education for more than 20 years. He owns Safe Driving School in Myrtle Beach.
It seems like a scary job, but he enjoys it.
"I'm passionate about the students being safe. Again, we're the 3rd worst drivers in the nation in this state, we're number 1 for DUIs in South Carolina," he said.
As you can imagine, he takes his job seriously. Especially when it's raining.
"A lot of people don't realize, when it first starts to rain is when it's the most slick. Mixed with that little bit of oil that's been dripping, that little bit of dust and dirt that's blowing across the road, makes it real slick," said Doneff.
Another common mistake is not leaving enough space between your car and the one in front of you.
"When it's wet or it starts getting slushy and a little bit slick, it should be increased way to 4 to 5 seconds," Doneff said.
He said it's about seconds instead of car distances now.
He says you should also brake gently, slow down before bridges, and check your windshield wipers and tires.
"A lot of people are gonna be sliding, you've got to have good tread. I have good tread on my tires, I change tires quite often," said Doneff.
He says these days, a huge concern are parents who have bad driving habits.
"Parents have been driving a while. They're in bad habits. They don't stop to turn right on red like you're supposed to, they slow and go. Right on red don't mean slow and go! So, I tell them go home and teach your parents," he said.
Be safe instead of sorry.
Another great tip from Doneff is to always have an escape route. Constantly check your mirrors when you're on an icy road in case someone behind you starts sliding so you'll know which way to go.
If you do have to drive in wintry weather, AAA reports to make sure you have an emergency kit in your car; it'll come in handy if you're on the side of the road waiting for help.