Winter Drivers Need More Following Distance

This archived article is from January 2004. Although every effort has been made to make sure the information presented is accurate, please note that it may contain information that is out-of-date.

Uniroyal Tire Doctor Roger Stapley offers this useful advice to help motorists stop safely.

When a car traveling on a dry road at 100 km/h must stop suddenly, the vehicle keeps moving for 184.2 metres - more than three NHL rinks combined!

An average driver takes 1.2 seconds to perceive a hazard ahead, plus another second to react and brake. In typical winter conditions, highway drivers should slow down and leave a good eight to 10 seconds following distance. On ice even more caution is needed, as a vehicle may take 10 times longer to stop.

Proper braking is very important. Drivers were once advised to 'pump' the brakes, but today's driving experts recommend 'threshold braking.' Press down hard on the brakes until the wheels start to lock up, release just enough pressure to let them roll again, then gradually increase pressure and repeat until making a complete stop. This technique permits control of steering by preventing the vehicle from skidding out of control.

Improved technology and new rubber compounds keep winter tires more flexible than all-season tires in the cold, providing better traction when drivers need to stop suddenly. For the best performance install four winter tires, and do not mix tires with different tread patterns and wear.

Source: Uniroyal