Driving in snowy conditions requires special attention and extra precautions to ensure safety. Here are some tips and tricks for driving in the snow:
Slow Down: Reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Snow and ice make roads slippery, and it takes longer to stop on these surfaces.
Winter Tires: Consider using winter or snow tires, which provide better traction in cold and snowy conditions. If snow or winters tires are not feasible, you can purchase tire chains or other devices that allow for better traction.
Clear Snow from Your Vehicle: Before driving, remove snow and ice from your car, including windows, mirrors, lights, and the roof. This improves visibility and prevents snow from flying off your vehicle. Flying snow and ice can cause damage to other vehicles and unnecessary accidents for the people behind you.
Use Your Lights: Turn on your headlights to increase visibility, especially during snowfall or low-light conditions.
Brake Gently: Apply the brakes gently to avoid skidding. If your car has anti-lock brakes (ABS), apply steady pressure and let the system do its work but avoid hard braking.
Avoid Sudden Movements: Avoid abrupt acceleration, deceleration, or sharp turns. Sudden movements can lead to loss of control on slippery roads.
Stay Informed: Check weather and road conditions before heading out. Be aware of any advisories or warnings.
Keep a Safe Distance: Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is imperative. This gives you more time to react if you need to stop suddenly and can help to avoid a collision in many cases.
Use Lower Gears: If you have a manual transmission, consider starting in second gear to reduce wheel spin. Automatic transmissions on newer vehicles may have a "winter" mode for better traction.
Know Your Brakes: Understand if your vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS) or not. For ABS-equipped cars, apply steady pressure; for non-ABS cars, pump the brakes gently in a skid.
Stay Home if Necessary: If conditions are severe, consider staying home or delaying your trip until roads are cleared. Safety should always be the top priority.
Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your car, including items like a flashlight, blankets, non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, and a snow scraper, and car escaper tool.
Stay Calm in a Skid: If you start to skid, remain calm. Steer in the direction you want to go and avoid slamming on the brakes. You want to react quickly but avoid any hard jerking motions, which can increase the chances of an accident.
Watch for Black Ice: Be particularly cautious of black ice, which is often difficult to see. Bridges and overpasses are common places for black ice to form.
Remember, it's crucial to adapt your driving to the current road conditions. Depending on the state you live in you can be ticketed if you are not driving to fit existing conditions. If the weather is severe, and it is possible, it's better to delay your trip or find an alternative means of transportation.