January 22, 2019Driving in the Snow: How to Prepare for Road Conditions
The Winter season brings with it drastically changing road conditions. We’ve talked about ways to master driving in the heat as well as driving in the rain but it’s time for maybe the most important – driving in the snow.
We’ll talk about some ways to stay safer when driving in the snow and some tips and tricks that may help ease some anxiety when trying to conquer road conditions whether you’re driving through it for work or whether you’re just going through it during your winter vacation.
Be Prepared for Road Conditions
Going into situations involving bad weather or driving in the snow and ice while being properly prepared for road conditions can save you time and hassle later and most importantly can help save your life.
Checking your tires and making sure you have traction will help you from spinning out of control or getting stuck. Make sure your tires are not bald and don’t be scared to splurge on snow tires to make sure you have enough traction.
If you know you’ll be driving in the snow, pack accordingly. A basic emergency kit may not be enough during these times so make sure to stock up on blankets, water, food, etc.
You never know when the road conditions will become so bad that you’ll have to wait out a storm. Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Follow the Rules for Driving in the Snow
Road Signs can be your best friend during winter and they are there to help you. There are often signs that let you know the road conditions for the area and most importantly whether chains are required or not.
These are required for big rigs most of the time and failing to put them on can result in huge fines. Putting chains on does require some time, but it’s important to take that time even if you’re in a hurry because it can save your life and your bank account.
Being alert of the surroundings while driving in the snow goes under the same category as being aware of the changing of road conditions with the changing of the seasons.
Snow causes the path in front of you to be less clear and decreases the visibility of other cars and road signs.
This is when it is most important to keep the most distance as possible from the car in front of you. Give yourself as much cushion as you need if you need to come to an abrupt stop.
If you’re driving a big rig, it is almost impossible to come to an abrupt stop on icy roads. Downshift as much as you can before using your breaks to avoid possible skidding.
Tips on Navigating When Driving in the Snow
Aside from the obvious tips like slowing down and keeping distance, there are still some tips worth mentioning that may help you master driving in the snow.
Having a 4×4 vehicle with snow tires is having a basic vehicle in mountainous areas along with having snow chains.
If you’re driving in the snow or ice-covered road, try to go down the middle of the road as much as possible; especially if it’s one way and you don’t have to worry about cars coming in the other direction.
Staying in the middle of the road prevents your car from sliding off due to bad road conditions.
If you’re going uphill at all try to stay at a decent speed and keep it as constant as possible. It is important not to try to slowly creep up a hill because tires can lose traction easier this way. At the same time never try to accelerate too quickly on icy roads because this can also cause loss of traction.
Driving in the snow doesn’t always have to be a nightmare. As long as you’re prepared, pay attention to what you’re doing as well as road signs, and pick up some tips on navigating, this winter can become your best friend.
Just don’t forget probably the single most important rule of driving in the snow: Check your traction.