How To Safely Drive In The Snow
We recently covered how your should Safely Drive In The Rain, but for some drivers, one of the worst conditions to operate a vehicle in is the snow due to slippery roads, poor visibility, and high wind speeds. Accidents increase in the winter to 1.5 million accidents annually due to high speeds that can easily cause skidding, which can be avoided when driving in the snow.
Tire chains are crucial to use when driving in th
e snow, which will provide more traction and prevent skidding. These are available in different sizes and should be placed onto tires before beginning a drive. You can also use snow tires to increase traction if you have a smaller vehicle, but drive at low speeds as they tires are still prone to slide on packed ice or snow, making it important to reduce speeds. Expect lower fuel efficiency with snow tiers, which can be offset with lower speeds.
Tires should also be properly inflated as tire pressure can decrease in the winter about one or two PSI every 10 degrees that the weather drops.
It’s important to maintain visibility and keep eyes ahead of the vehicle to watch for icy roads or road blocks. Have your headlights on, even during the daytime, and keep a three to four car-length space between you and the vehicle you’re behind for every 10 mph of your speed. Slamming on the breaks too quickly can easily cause skidding and lead to an accident.
Keep your eye out for reflections on the road, which makes it easier to spot ice or water.
Drive at Lower Speeds
Drivers should reduce their speeds to 30 miles per hour, especially when using chains, to ensure they’re in control of the van on highways or bends. Four-wheel drive should also be used on the vehicle, which will send an appropriate amount of torque to each tire for proper traction.
Skids are common on icy roads with black ice, but can be controlled to prevent an accident from occurring. Turn into the skid while accelerating, which may seem unnatural, but will deter the vehicle from going out of control. The weight is then put on the rear wheels and makes it easier to control the vehicle. Take your foot off the brake and avoid oversteering. This can also be practiced with trained driving courses.
Clean the Windshield
Scrape ice or snow off of the windshield to increase visibility, while replacing windshield wiper blades so they’re up-to-date. Run the air conditioner to prevent condensation or frost, which can occur with standard defrost settings.
Snow or ice should also be removed from all of the windows, outside mirrors, lights, and on the roof.