Driving during the winters can be a bit tricky, even for the most experienced drivers. Things get more challenging when you are driving through ice and snow. For someone who has never driven in snow and ice, things can be a lot more tricky. So, here we have come up with some tips to help you drive safely during the winters:
Keep Your Vehicle Stocked
Your vehicle must have all the standard items that you may possibly need to carry on with the routine winter-related tasks. Further, you should also have some of the supplies that will come in handy if you get stuck in your car if there are any on-road emergencies during winters.
Janet, an educator who works with TAE, a platform where you can find same day essay writers, shares her cool winter kit with us to keep you safe and secure on the road while driving in snow or ice.
She says every winter rider must carry the following in their car’s trunk:
- Ice scraper, snow shovel, and broom.
- Abrasive materials, such as kitty litter or sand, in case the vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
- Flashlight, jumper cables, and warning devices, such as emergency markers and flares.
- Blankets, which can protect you from the cold weather outside.
- Some dry snacks.
- A cell phone with a power bank or charger.
- Any necessary medicines, which may come in handy on a long trip or when you drive through polluted areas.
Winterize Your Car
When you drive your car in snow and ice, you need to take special precautions and make a conscious effort to winterize your vehicle. Further, ensure that your vehicle is up-to-date with brakes, fuel, and fluids. It is advisable to keep your tank at least half full when driving in winter. This becomes all the more critical when you go on a long road trip. Do ensure that you get an oil change whenever you go on a long journey during the winters. Further, all the other fluids in your car must be topped off before you take off on the road during winters.
Check The lights
During the winters, you are not only hit by the cold weather, but the days also tend to get shorter and shorter. This means that you will need your lights more. Hence, anytime you step out on your journey, you should check the lights. Do ensure that they work just fine.
When the snow begins to accumulate, you need to slow down. It is in everyone’s best interest to slow down. You do not know when you may be hit by something covered in ice. So, drive slowly, and keep your eyes on the road.
Accelerate And Decelerate Slowly
When you mash your foot down onto the brake or the gas while you drive in snow, it can make you lose traction. This can result in losing control on the road. Thus, it is vital to be patient and accelerate carefully or drive slowly. This can prevent the chances of accidents on the road.
Maintain Safe Distance
In ice and snow, your stopping distance can increase significantly from what it usually is. It implies that driving super close to the person in front of you can be quite a terrible mistake.
Xavier, an educator who offers online homework writing services, says, ‘When you drive super close to the driver in front of you during winters, it can be dangerous for both you and the person in front. It is because snow is unpredictable, and, at times, it can be a little difficult to slow down in time.’
We agree with Xavier here, and thus it is strictly recommended to maintain adequate distance between two vehicles, especially when driving in snow or ice.
Drive In High Gear In Ice And Snow
When you drive your car in a higher gear, you can better control your vehicle. If it is snowy and you cannot get started, you can pull away to the second gear. This can make it easy for you to get going. If you pull away in the first grip, you may be unable to get the hold you need.
These are the two most dreadful words, which tend to strike fear in any motorist’s heart. Unfortunately, it is invisible on the road and can be potentially deadly. Since you cannot easily spot them on the road, they can make driving quite challenging. Thus, if possible, avoid stepping out for a drive in winters. If not, please take it slow and steady, and do not indulge in any risky maneuvers.
Recovering From A Skid
In case you do end up hitting some black ice, there are some quick things that you can do to recover from it.
If you lose grip over your car, keep both of your hands on the wheel. Also, do not press the brake. Simultaneously, you need to try and steer into the skid. This can help you get straight and take you back on track. At times, when you lose control over your car, you may panic, and it may not be easy for you to reflect on what you should do. But, the best way to keep yourself safe is by keeping calm. Be aware of the things around you, and apply the trick above to take you through.
Check That Your Tires Are Well-Inflated
You certainly do not want to be stranded on the road with a flat tire, right? It can be worse when there is snow all around you. Thus, it is essential to ensure that your tires are well-inflated when you head out during the winters. Also, tire pressure tends to fluctuate with temperature. So, be particularly careful.
Plan Out Your Route And Travel
Before you head out, you need to check the TV, radio, or the internet to get the latest weather information and the road conditions outside. If the area where you live has unpredictable weather or snow season, a little caution is always recommended. Thus, do not rush through the trip. Better late than sorry, right?
‘At times, it is impossible to avoid traveling during snow season. More so, in the place where I live, there is always snow during the winters. So, as a safety measure, I always familiarize myself with the map and route. Also, I save the maps offline before heading out. It is because at times when you are stuck in the middle of the snow, your internet connection ditches you,’ shares Brian, an AP biology tutor.
We completely agree with Brian on this. To add to Brian’s tip here, we recommend telling someone from your family where you are going and your anticipated arrival time. This can help them check on you.
Prepare For The Fog, Wind, And Rain
It is not the ice and the snow alone that you may have to deal with during the winters. At times, there will be fog and heavy rain, making it difficult to see what is in front of you. This can make it hard for you to drive around. There are several things that you need to bear in mind when you drive in such conditions. One of the best tricks here is to keep calm, slow down, and have both your hands on the wheel. Rain not only disturbs the surface but also hampers your vision. To add to it, the fog will only make matters worse. So, be very careful.
These are the twelve most useful tips that you need to bear in mind when driving in winters. Have more suggestions to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.