6 Storm Team Winter Weather Outlook: Driving Tips

Winter Forecast

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Winter weather can sometimes occur at the most inconvenient times and you may get caught driving in it. If so, there are a few things to remember!

When driving in rain, it is very important to try and avoid hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when there is water on the road that inhibits your ability to brake or drive properly, causing skidding and loss of control. Hydroplaning can be avoided by driving defensively and slowly. Additionally, make sure to have your headlights on during rain and give yourself space in between you and the car in front of you.

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Another big concern during the winter is icy/slushy roads. This can occur as a result of sleet or freezing rain. In both cases, you want to avoid stopping suddenly, reduce your speed and if you do start sliding turn your wheels in the same direction.

Driving in snow also presents several difficulties. If you have to drive in snow, make sure to slow down and avoid locking up your brakes. You also do not want to stop when going up hills.

Black ice is a big concern in the winter. Black ice forms in three main ways, as a result of clear skies, light rain and fog. When skies are clear, snow melts during the day and then turns to ice at night. Light rain that falls onto a cold, frozen ground can also result in ice on the roads. Water droplets from fog can also freeze instantly on roads when the surface is below 32 degrees.

Finally, when driving during the winter remember that bridges tend to freeze before the rest of the road. This happens because the surface of the bridge is exposed above and below to cold air temperatures. This causes bridges to cool faster than the roads near them. For this reason, always be prepared to go slower on bridges during wintertime!

Follow our WATE 6 Storm Team on Twitter: Victoria Cavaliere, @watevictoriawx; Matt Hinkin, @Hinkmologist; Justin Kiefer, @justinkieferwx; and Ken Weathers, @lucky13wxman. Also, follow @WATEWeather.

(The story is part of a WATE 6 Storm Team in-depth look at this coming winter with forecasts, cold weather tips and the science behind storms in a package of reports.)

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