Many people find adapting to driving in the snow to be much harder than they think at first, but there are many things to remember about driving in snow, which doesn’t only concern the road, but also various aspects about your car and its condition before you start driving.
In this article we will look at a few of the most important things to remember and why they are important. Countries with regular snow such as Canada are usually very prepared for snow days and work hard to keep the roads safe, but safety starts with all of us the minute we get on the road. So here are a few tips to always keep in mind.
Snow tires usually have much deeper thread on them, even though they are used on normal roads. Driving on roads where snow is expected can present many different conditions in the blink of an eye. It could start to snow heavily or there could be ice on the roads in which case the deeper thread will ensure better traction.
Screen wash is also important as it protects your windows from getting frozen up while you drive. Be sure to use a product that protects down to at least -35. On snow days you would also need to allow for more time in the morning to clear snow off the windows and mirrors if your car was outside. Use lukewarm water to get ice and snow off the windows and mirror. Never use hot water as it will damage the windscreen.
Be sure to remove any snow from your car, which includes the roof as any sudden braking or acceleration could cause the snow to block your vision and cause a serious situation.
There are a few things you need to keep in your car in case of emergency. These items include a demisting pad, a wind-up torch, ice scrapper, de-ice, shovel, blanket, a map and recovery tracks for in case you get stuck.
Driving could be very tricky at first. Those of you who have done advanced driving courses will know all about a skid pad and how slippery it is, well ice on the road is much worse as it makes your car slide completely. The best thing to do in this case is to gently counter steer into the side and wait for the tired to reach a point where traction is available. Be sure to stay off the brakes as it will not slow you down at all, but just make the slide much worse as the tires will not be able to find grip.
Accelerate and brake with caution. Driving in the snow requires easy movements and allowing gap to avoid any sudden reactions. It might take you longer to get to the places you need to get to, but rather late than never.
Changing gear should be done at low revs to avoid the tires losing traction. Shift gears as soon as you can without making the engine suffer. Pull away slowly or even in second gear, which decreases the chance of losing traction when pulling away.