No one really wants to drive in snow and ice but there will always be times when we have no choice. There are things that you can do to help you have a safe journey and the following is a list of the best tips on driving during the winter.
If you know that your region will experience a fair amount of snow and ice during the winter you should consider fitting winter tires to your vehicle. These are made from a much harder compound than standard tires and have a tread pattern that stops snow from clogging up your wheels, giving you much more traction than standard tires.
Reducing your speed is an obvious thing to say but you also need to make sure that you retain enough speed to give your car enough momentum to get up any gradients in the road. Try and find a speed that you feel comfortable with and don’t stop unless you have to as you may find it very difficult to get started again.
If you feel your vehicle starts to slide or skid, which happens all too easily when driving in the snow and ice, you need to very gently turn your steering wheel in the direction that you want to go and not into the skid as you may have thought. Also make sure that you keep your foot well away from the brake pedal to start with. Once the vehicle has started to turn in the correct direction, if you feel that you are still going too fast, apply some very gentle pressure to the brake pedal making sure to ‘feather’ it so you don’t put the vehicle into another skid.
Carrying snow chains in your vehicle is a great idea because they will help get you out of sticky situations. However you need to make sure that you actually know how to fit the chains quickly and easily as it will be cold when you need them and you want to spend the least amount of time in the elements as possible. You should also carry a tarpaulin in your car to kneel on when you have to fit the chains as your legs will soon get cold and wet, which will quickly lower your body temperature.
Carrying a shovel and some cat litter or sand is a good idea if you are taking a long journey in the snow. The shovel will help you free your wheels if they get bogged down in the snow and spreading some sand or cat litter will help your vehicle achieve much better traction and get you on your way a little quicker.
Make sure that you keep an eye on any vehicles in front or behind you so that you are not taken by surprise if they get into trouble and can get out of the way if they do. Keep your windows clear of snow and clean, even if this means that you have to pull over in a safe place every now and then to do it.