How to Drive a Rear Wheel Drive in Winter

In most driving conditions, rear-drive cars are generally safer, because the rear wheels push the car and the front wheels steer it. In snowy or icy conditions, this situation changes dramatically. If front-drive cars have slipping on the front wheels, they will generally skid in a straight line.

Rear-drive cars, however, tend to have the rear end slide towards the side when they slip. Prepare for winter driving before getting behind the wheel and learn the basics of driving a rear-drive car before the snow flies, in order to help avoid accidents.

Prepare your car before any snow or ice falls. Check your tires to make sure the tread is good. Replace tires that are beginning to wear. Consider changing to snow tires if there is snowy weather in your area.

Place weight on the back end of your vehicle to help reduce slipping and sliding. Put bags of salt or sand in your trunk or in the back of your truck. Cinder blocks are good portable weights, too. Any weight you put on the drive wheels will help them to grip the road.

Drive slower than normal. The posted speed limit is for optimum driving conditions. Driving the speed limit in bad winter weather is like speeding on a normal day. The faster that you go, the more likely it is that you will skid and possibly have an accident.

Make a complete stop before turning, if at all possible. It is easy to skid out on turns, as the car is going at an angle into the turn. Move slowly into the turn, and only accelerate after the car has totally straightened out.

Be aware of everything that is going on around you. Cars ahead of you can slide at any time, making for a dangerous situation on the road. Watching ahead for any dangers can prepare you for evasive action, if needed.

Turn the steering wheel slower than usual. Smooth and even movements will move the car more safely and effectively than jerking the wheel over quickly.

Take your foot off the gas if you begin to skid and drive into the direction you are sliding. This may be counter-intuitive, so go to an abandoned parking lot or other large place without obstructions and practice this beforehand.