You may be one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones that live in a place where having snow is assured every year, and maybe, in most of the months. However, snow days are not the best for when you have to go to work and drive for several minutes.
Most specifically, it can be very dangerous to drive in snow. In this article , We will help you to master the art of snow driving by following these 6 steps.
6 Tips To Drive In Snow
Snow and ice-covered roads are a true challenge, why, you might ask, well, these elements together or separated, can mess up the amount of traction your vehicle has, making the act of moving, steer, and stop, harder than usual.
Your safety is the most important thing when driving a car, and we know it, that’s why we gathered 8 tips to drive safely during snow days and you will stop doubting yourself in front of icy roads.
Tip 1: Equip your car properly
The first thing you need to check out, it’s your tires. There are some tires made especially for winter conditions, you can check them out in your nearest auto parts store.
In case you already have your winter tires, then you just have to equip them. Make sure they have a wide tread to handle snow and they have the proper tire pressure.
The cold weather tends to bring the air pressure of your tires down. So, you must add to your daily routine, every day before jumping into your car, check the tires and fill them if needed.
NOTE: If you don’t know what is the recommended pressure, you can check it out on a little placard located at the side of the pilot’s side door.
We suggest you keep a winter essentials kit in your trunk, it may include: tire chains, a first aid emergency kit, and an ice-scraper. You can also bring some extra warm gloves, a shovel, and emergency lights or road flares.
Tip 2: Plan ahead your route
We strongly recommend you plan ahead of the route you want to take, in order to avoid traffic or current car accidents. You want a path that puts you on streets that are plowed, de-iced, or sanded.
You will need full concentration when driving on ice-roads, don’t get distracted with the phone or radio. All your senses must be focused on the road.
Tip 3: Slow and steady is the key
When you are snow driving, you have to drive very slow and carefully. The key is to anticipate your turns, stops, and hills ahead of time. The recommendation is that you make wide turns, but move the stirring wheel very slowly, if you do it fast, you will only turn your car into a motorized snowboard.
The accelerating and braking should be done when the car is in moving in a straight line. The common norm is: If you’re braking, you don’t want to be doing much steering. If you’re turning, you don’t want to be braking.
Tip 4: Keep a safe distance from the other vehicles
During snow days, it’s imperative that you keep so much more space between the vehicle in front of you and your car than you do when the streets are dry. We suggest you keep a distance of three cars length.
You’ll need six to 10 lengths when the highway is slick. The main purpose of this is that you have enough room to brake early and keep control of your car.
Tip 5: Practice makes perfect
If you have time and someone to go with you, we suggest you go to an empty parking lot and practice your snow driving techniques. This way you won’t harm anyone or you.
What we mean by practicing that you can have full concentration on your car movements and how it feels, be aware of its traction limits. But most importantly, you can practice what to do if your car starts to skid.
You should remember your old driving lessons to steer the wheel into the opposite direction you are skiing, but if we are being honest, when we are in that situation, we might freak out and don’t apply the knowledge. So, use the parking lot and practice as much as you can.
Tip 6: Don’t forget the family
Don’t forget about bringing heavy coats for every member of your family. Winter times have no mercy, not even to the little ones.
But, please take this into consideration, placing a kid wearing a massive jacket in a child safety seat, can be very dangerous. However, you can take it off, secure the kid, and bring an extra blanket to keep warm.
Why is it dangerous? Well, a puffy jacket, because of the size, can lose the seat belts and leave the child unprotected during car drives. In case of a car accident, the child might slide out because the seat belt lost its tightness.
Now that you have all these helpful tips at reach, don’t hesitate to use them the next time you are facing some icy roads. Please be careful, no matter if you already have master the art of driving in snow. No one is exempt from car accidents.