Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How to Drive Safely in the Snow and Ice on Your Winter Road Trip

AWD is best for winter driving.

Snowy conditions make driving a challenge even for the most seasoned drivers. To make sure you avoid an unnecessary accident on your winter road trip, it’s important to know the best practices for driving safely in the snow and ice. By following these simple strategies, you’ll keep you and your family safe on your winter road trip.

Preparing Your Car

Before you set off, there are some simple steps you can take to make driving in the snow much easier:
  1. Get all-weather tires
These will give you noticeably better traction in the snow and ice, which you will almost certainly face on your winter trip.

      2. Remove all snow from your car

It’s tempting to leave the layer of snow on top of your car when you’re in a rush. But it’s extremely dangerous to do so and against the law in many areas. This chunk of snow could come off while driving, obscuring your view, or even damage another car on the road. Give yourself a little extra time and make sure to clear all snow off your car completely.

      3. De-ice the windows, mirrors and lights

As well as removing all snow, spend time completely de-icing all surfaces of your car. You need full visibility when driving to be as safe as possible. Make sure you stock up on de-icer and scrapers to help you get your car ready to drive.

For more tips on preparing your car for the snowy weather, check out this post on driving in the snow.

Driving in the Snow and Ice

Now you have your car prepared for the journey, it’s important to know the best way to drive your car in the snow and ice. Here are some tips for driving safely:
  • Wear comfortable shoes that give you full control over the pedals. 
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This prevents skidding and helps you maintain traction as you drive. 
  • Do not set your car to cruise control when driving during the winter. Instead, drive slowly as it can take longer to come to a complete stop on ice-covered roads. 
  • When driving, the heel of your foot should be placed on the floor while the ball should be used to apply pressure on the brake. 
  • Never stop when driving up a hill, or drastically accelerate. The former can cause you to slide down and lose control. The latter can cause your wheels to start spinning. 
  • Allow plenty of space when driving behind a car. Leave at least 8-10 seconds to come to a stop to avoid nasty bumps. 
And Finally… 

Know when it’s time to give in to mother nature and stop. If the weather becomes too challenging, find a safe place to stop and wait for the weather to improve. Although it will add unplanned time to your journey, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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