Dennis Burkheimer, Winter Operations Administrator for the state of Iowa, says some poeple may discover they’ve taken for granted that some kinds of vehicles give them an edge in winter driving. Burkheimer says they think with 4-wheel-drive vehicles or SUVs they’ll have an advantage over everyone else, but the professionals have already discovered that “when you’re on ice there’s virtually nothing that’s going to help you stop.” He recommends putting on your headlights so it’s easier for other drivers to see you. He’s seen what can happen in bad weather, and also recommends slowing down and buckling up, all the “traditional type warnings.” Burkheimer says if it looks like the pavement in front of you looks wet, it may be partly ice…and he recommends acting as if it’s slippery. Listen to weather forecasts and road reports, he advises, and drive cautiously. With front-wheel-drive, most of the weight of the engine is over the wheels doing the moving of the vehicle and will give you increased traction, whereas with a rear-wheel drive vehicle the wheels are more likely to spin on a slippery spot. And in his own personal car, the DOT’s director of winter operations says he carries a shovel, sand and a good window-scraper.
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