Driving in snow can be a scary experience, especially if you are not used to it at all. Intimidating as it sounds, by following the proper safety procedures, snow driving can be easy for most drivers. Once you control the speed and braking, it shouldn’t be complex to drive in snow. However, in spite of consistent warnings, most drivers fail to maintain control on speed. Ideally, you must drive at almost half the speed limit than permitted and leave a minimum 9-second distance between vehicles, if you want to stay safe. SoundsGood Auto lists down the the basic guidelines.
Driving in snow
With a proper understanding of techniques and basic physics, driving in snow can be just as smooth as any other season. You can actually decrease your chances of an accident if you follow these simple driving guidelines.
For starters make sure you have the right car accessories. Winter tires are a must if you are driving in snow and want to be safe. Normal tires do not possess the tread depth and larger percentages of natural rubber and silica that prevent hardening of tires. This simply increases your probability of skidding. So the first order of business for snow driving? Get winter tires!
Speed distance and braking
You may not be able to control the speed and driving technique of other drivers on the road, but you can control yours. Always maintain a safe distance between cars. Normally a 3 second distance is enough, but in the winter, the braking distance must be nothing less than 9 seconds. Experts recommend that this level of distance helps you to stay safe. It’s simple, if the car ahead of you skids, it won’t hit you; if the car ahead of you brakes suddenly you have ample time to reduce your speed and brake, so your car will not skid. Try to maintain a consistent speed and pay attention to signals and vehicles ahead of you. If you see them reducing their speed, reduce your speed way in advance. Braking at a low speed can help you to minimize the risk of a collision and skidding.
Getting out of the snow
Occasionally and unfortunately, you may get stuck in a big heap of snow and your car just won’t move. To avoid this, it is better to try and keep moving the car a little in snowy conditions. If you are stuck already, pour windshield wiper fluid around your tire to dissolve the snow and come out. You can, of course, use a shovel too.
Starting from a stop
This is not that difficult but can be tricky. In winters, make sure to apply pressure on the gas pedal until the wheels break free. Once the wheels are in motion, you can go easy on the pedal. If you do not get any traction, keep varying the amount of gas you use until you can judge the speed that is giving you the best grip. Remember to steer firmly in the opposite direction if the vehicle appears to slide in one direction.