A vehicle does three basic things: slows, turns, and accelerates. There is limited traction in winter, so concentrating while driving is essential. Tanner Foust of the Bridgeport Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, CO, suggests, "use 100 percent focus for one function at a time." For example, drivers should turn with two separate actions; brake in a straight line and then turn. Do not attempt to turn and brake or accelerate at the same time. In most cases, it's the combination of these tasks that causes a vehicle to slide. On dry roads, drivers only have to adjust to the shape of the road and the sharpness of a turn. In winter, drivers must also consider the terrain of the road-up and down hills-and the road conditions that are altered by weather.
Driver Tip: If your vehicle starts to slide, don't break or accelerate. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) suggests removing your foot from the accelerator or brake and steering in the direction of the skid. Use your hands, feet, and even your eyes to safely come out of a skid. Find a place ahead of you where you want to stop and keep your eyes there. Don't look at the wheel or anything except the focal point ahead of you. Steer towards it and you'll steer the right way. When the vehicle comes out of the skid, turn the wheels straight and proceed.
(Ever wondered exactly what "black ice" is? Foust defines black ice as "ice on the road that is difficult to see.")