Driving in snowy and icy conditions can be downright dangerous if you have not done it before. There are plenty of factors that combine to make driving on a slippery surface much different than a normal road. For that reason, it is best to do your research and be prepared before heading out on the winter roads. Here are a few top tips for safe winter driving:
First and foremost, you must make sure that your vehicle is ready to be driven in winter conditions. Having the essentials such as a car accident kit, first aid kit, a snow shovel, and a ice scraper can really get you out of sticky situations. The tires are also really important to get checked before the first snow. It is best to switch to snow tires or run all-season tires for best control on slippery surfaces.
Another good decision is to get a car with all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. These vehicles offer the best traction on slippery surfaces because all four wheels are being powered by the engine. Colorado’s most popular car brand is Subaru simply because of their cars’ ability to handle in snowy and harsh conditions.
You can always prepare yourself before you drive by turning on the weather channel and planning what drives you have during the week. Aim to drive only if you have to and do your research before. If you check your local news, you can also see if traffic is already severely backed up. It is a good idea to leave long before you need to be somewhere. Rushing leads to accidents.
Driving In Winter Conditions
Winter driving can be stressful, but as long as you have time and patience, things will go smoothly. First, you need to recognize that your car is heavy, so any sudden stops are going to cause you to slide. The same goes for any sudden accelerations.
Your best bet is to ever-so-lightly accelerate and brake to control the movement of the tires. This is nearly impossible if you are going fast, so take a nice pace that you feel comfortable with. If you are holding up traffic, just turn on your hazard lights and go to the slow lane. People should get the hint and move around you.
The normal distance for following another car on dry pavement is one car length for every 10 miles per hour. When you’re driving in snowy conditions, it is best to double that metric. So every 10 miles per hour, you should be 2 car lengths back. This will give you plenty of reaction time if the car in front of you starts to spin out. Not everyone has a four-wheel drive car. Make sure that if you drive a sedan, to take extra precautions.
This is somewhat of a no-brainer, but your seatbelt should always be on when you get in the car. This could potentially save your life if there is any trouble on the road. Also, you can do yourself a favor and warm up the car before you start driving. This will be one less distraction and put you in slightly more comfort when driving in a stressful situation.
Driving in the snow can seem like a daunting task. As long as you take all of the necessary precautions, you will keep yourself and others safe. Just keep in mind only to drive if you absolutely have to. When you do, make sure you have had great rest the night prior and have all of your senses dialed to 10. Remember these simple steps and you should be able to traverse the snowy roads like a professional. Good luck this winter!