For drivers, snow and ice pose a new set of challenges on top of normal. Rainy and windy weather I see it in winter. Roads are more dangerous, more difficult to drive, and more likely to get caught in traffic or accidents.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for driving in the snow to deal with winter weather and what to do if you start to lose control.
Prepare your car
Before you leave in bad weather, you need to make sure your car is in the best possible condition.
Make sure all lights are working, the tires are inflated properly, the tread is sufficient, and the screen wash is refilled with the proper liquid to work at sub-zero temperatures.
If your car is covered with snow or ice, be sure to clean it up before you drive. Don’t be tempted to just clear the windshield patch. Not only is this illegal, but it also limits visibility and adversely affects the safety of you and other road users.
Pack the emergency kit
Snow, ice and general bad weather increase the chances of getting caught in a traffic jam or accident, so it is important to be prepared for long waits in the car.
Always keep a bag of some essentials in your car. Important items include warm coats, sturdy shoes, high-visibility jackets, and blankets. Torches, snacks and drinks should also be packed in case of long delays. If you get stuck in the snow or on slippery roads, folding shovels and scraps of old carpet are also useful.
Plan your journey
If you have heavy snow or heavy rain, it is best to avoid traveling if possible. However, if you need to venture, plan your trip carefully and expect it to take longer than usual.
Regularly check your travel reports for delays and closures, and avoid infrequently used, small, and infrequently used roads, as they are less likely to have gravel or snow than the main route.
You also need to make sure your car has enough fuel / charge and your cell phone is also charged in case you get stuck.
Driving in the snow
Once you’re on the road, it’s imperative that you stay in control over time.
Keep in mind that braking distance can be up to 10 times longer than in dry conditions and sudden input can result in loss of control in slippery conditions.
Slow down and increase the gap with other vehicles. Observe what other cars are doing and make sure you have enough space so you don’t have to slow down or steer unnecessarily.
Slowly accelerate, brake, steer and try to minimize input. The fewer gear changes, brakes, or stops, and the longer it takes to operate, the less likely you are to get stuck or have an accident.
Look for potentially difficult surfaces such as puddles, ice patches, and snowdrifts, and make sure you have enough time to operate around them.
Handling of skids
Even if you’re cautious, black ice and other dangerous surface patches can catch you and put your car out of control at all times.
If you feel the car slip, calm down, take your foot off the accelerator and press the clutch. However, do not step on the brakes. The skid can get worse.
In modern cars equipped with a stability control system, it is necessary to maintain the steering position and allow the car’s electronics to control the steering.
In older cars without such a system, you may need to steer the skid if the rear wheels are sliding. If the front wheels are sliding, slightly steering in the opposite direction before returning to the correct steering line may help find additional grip.
Driving in the Snow: Tips for staying safe, preparing your car, and maintaining control in slippery situations
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