Driving In White Out Conditions, Tips For Low Visibility On The Roads

Brush off those winter driving skills, it’s proving to be downright dangerous.

But for those just learning how to drive, it’s a critical time to understand what to expect with lake effect snow.

9 and 10’s Megan Atwood and photojournalist John Harrington tell us what one driving instructor teaches her students for handling these type of roads.

White out conditions can make cars covered in snow hard to see when they’re out on the roads.

“Everything needs to be visible that way anybody can see you. Because if you don’t have tail lights, nobody knows you’re there in a white out,” says Ashley Ingriham, a driving instructor at All Star Driver Education.

With lake effect snow, some sections of roads may be clear, then all of a sudden they’re not. Blowing snow creates white out conditions.

But driver’s education instructors say it’s crucial that new drivers know how to handle bad roads.

“I tell them that you have to break a lot sooner than you would think and you have to break a lot softer, more fluttering of the gas pedal not hitting the gas,” Ingriham goes on to say.

When visibility is low, driving instructor Ashley Ingriham says keep your car moving is key.

“Don’t stop. Keep moving, even if you’re crawling. Put your hazards on. Because if you stop, people can’t see you in time to stop as well,” Ingriham continues.

And the drivers we talked to say that’s exactly what they did on the roads Wednesday night.

“I go as slow as I can, as long as I am keeping up with the traffic,” says driver Greg Kolenbrander.

But Ingriham says driving in white out conditions is about more than just taking it slow.

“You want to be pacing yourself at any speed and it should be a minimum of 3 to 4 seconds between your car and in white out conditions you want even more space,” says Ashley Ingriham.

The difference between having a covered headlight and an uncovered headlight makes all the difference.

Ingriham says, “Anything to make yourself more visible. So obviously your headlights, but hazards flashing, those can be brighter than just your regular headlights.” She continues on, “Every time you get in your car, you should start it immediately and clear off every bit of snow off of it.”