Of all the weather conditions that motorists dread, the worst are snow and ice. That is because driving in the snow can be very challenging and risky, and should always be avoided if possible. However, if you must venture out, there are things you can do to stay safe and avoid a breakdown. Here are 6 driving tips to help you feel more at ease on the road:
What To Do Before Heading Out
Winter tires provide greater traction under icy or snowy conditions, so it is a good idea to invest in them a few months before winter begins. You also need to pack essential supplies that you’re likely to need on the road such as, a snow scraper/brush, lightweight shovel, flashlight, first aid kit, food and water, fully charged mobile phone, warm clothing and battery jumper cables.
It is also equally important to ensure that your car is free of frost or snow before getting on the road. This includes clearing ice from your windscreen, all windows, mirrors, number plates, and on top of your vehicle. Also check your tank to confirm that you have enough fuel to get you to your destination, or at least to the next gas station. Once you’ve done so, start your journey and if possible, stick to major roads as they are more likely to be cleared of snow.
Drive Gently and Smoothly
Driving too fast is one of the major causes of winter collisions, so ensure your use of all controls (brake, steering and throttle) is slow, smooth and progressive. Also avoid making abrupt stops and turns, as this will cause your car to lose the little grip it has on the road surface, leading to skidding or getting stuck on the snow.
Brake Before Making Turns
It is also very important to reduce speed by braking slowly before you make a turn. You can increase your speed again after you’ve successfully rounded the corner.
Turn On Your Lights
Also ensure that your lights are turned on to enhance your visibility to other motorists.
Keep Your Distance
It takes a longer time (as much as 10 times) to stop a car on an icy road than on a dry one. Therefore, it is always a good idea to maintain some distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This way, you’ll have adequate time to stop or take action if the car suddenly stops or crashes.
Maneuvering on icy roads isn’t easy, so pay attention to what’s going on around you, and plan your next move in advance to reduce the risk of accidents.
With these simple tips in mind, driving in the snow should be much easier for you.