If you’re driving in the snow, you want to be extra careful. You never know when you’re going to hit a patch of ice and lose traction. Fortunately, there are ways to help stay safe even when driving in difficult winter conditions. We’re going to share some of them with you in this article.
Tires. Your tires are the point of contact and subsequently, the more traction you have the better. While we suggest using winter tires instead of all-seasons, it’s not always necessary to have tires designed specifically for driving in the snow. All the same, we suggest you go with a set of snow-specific tires.
Carry deicer. You should always have salt or something similar in your vehicle, just in case you need it. It also doesn’t hurt to carry a shovel, windshield scraper, and whatever else you think you might need (like road flares and a cell phone).
In case of an accident, it’s always nice to have a personal locator beacon, cell phone, road flares, blankets, food, and water. After all, you never know how long you might be stranded if you suddenly veer off the road and find your vehicle stuck in a snow covered ditch.
Another option that may help you keep your vehicle on the road is chains. Chains for your tires can go a long way. If you’re able to, you might want to carry a set in your car just in case you run into conditions that you weren’t expecting.
You should always make sure your vehicle is in working order, but one thing in particular that you should check is your brakes. Make sure your brakes are good. And for that matter, make sure your tires have plenty of tread left.
Drive slow. It’s best to keep your speed low when driving in difficult conditions, unless of course you need to make it up a steep incline like a hill or mountain road. In which case, carefully give it some power to ensure that you don’t go rolling back down in reverse.
When going down a hill, try to move slowly – if you can, let your transmission do some of the work by keeping your vehicle in a low gear.
Don’t make sudden movements. You want to maintain control and a good way to lose control is to stop or accelerate suddenly or to suddenly jerk the wheel. Avoiding doing so will help you maintain traction. Always plan in advance. If you know you have to stop, make sure you’re going slow and begin slowing down far in advance. This way you hopefully won’t go rolling out into an intersection because you hit some ice right where you planned to stop.
If possible, use a vehicle with traction control and all-wheel drive (AWD). Vehicles equipped with such technology will perform better in the snow than those that don’t have it.
Lastly, avoid driving in difficult conditions. If you can, it’s best to avoid driving in uncertain weather when the roads are questionable. So if you can plan in advance to take care of things when the weather is nice, you won’t have to worry about driving through the snow.
These tips on winter driving are brought to you free of charge by the seasonal gear reviewers at 7thSeason.com