Driving through streets that are loaded with snow, during the winter season, can be extremely risky. Here, there is a need to be extra cautious when driving your car through these roads. You may have heard that a sizeable number of accidents take place as a result of such conditions.
This is because the visibility on the roads is lessened and it is more difficult to halt the vehicle. As part of the safety measures, you may find the following driving tips for winter to be useful.
Many times cannot be avoided, and you are required to head out for reaching your destination. Additionally, several families plan road trips to unfamiliar places for exploring the farmlands during the holidays, and people are required to drive the car for prolonged durations.
In such circumstances, the possibility of the vehicle getting stuck in the snow cannot be ruled out. Here, taking few precautionary steps for reaching your destination comfortably becomes important, as studied in the following details:
1. Preparing Your Car
At the preparation stage, you must ensure that there is enough gas in your car. You surely do not want to be running out of gas when out in the cold. Additionally, if your car has sufficient gasoline, it can be kept running for remaining warm - in case you get stuck somewhere.
Checking the washer fluid of your car must also be given importance; this can be helpful for clearing the windshield of snow, frost, and ice. You must make sure that sufficient quantity of the fluid is available. Additionally, make sure that the solution is suited for low temperatures. Some varieties have a tendency of freezing; be careful if you do not opt for them during the cold season.
It may also be worthwhile to invest in hiring a qualified car mechanic for inspecting the functionality of the brake lights, fluids, threads, inflation of tires, and bulbs.
Keeping extra pairs of warm clothing, packaged drinking water, emergency toolkit, and snacks in the vehicle must also not be forgotten.
As a rule, do not place gadgets in the front seat as they can be distracting. Keep them in the backseat or the trunk. If possible, everybody traveling with you in the car should put away their gadgets.
2. Equipment Requisites
Some essential automotive tools that you may need for preparation, before driving towards your destination, include a kitty litter, a sack of sand, and a shovel – these are useful in the event of a breakdown during snowy conditions.
Moreover, make sure to keep an ice scraper in the automobile. Use it for clearing snow from the windows, brake lights, headlights, mirrors, and the windshield.
Investing in premium-quality snow tires is also recommended; these provide the traction needed for preventing the car from getting out of control. For gaining maximum traction when cruising through snow-filled and ice-packed roads, you must consider only the best tire chains for the car; these devices are installed on the tires of automobiles.
3. Weather Update
You are also advised to keep yourself updated about the state of the weather for knowing what to expect and being better prepared. A wide variety of online resources are accessible that give the latest updates. You may also avail the option of weather alerts during rough conditions; whereby, you will get notifications on a regular basis. However, be sure that you park your vehicle before reading the messages.
4. Safe Driving
You must take precautions for remaining safe when driving through the snow-packed roads. Here, you must remove the snow that has collected on the vehicle for greater visibility. Furthermore, illumine the headlights for the entire duration that you are driving. You must also be aware of the probability of reduced visibility in sectors where big-sized piles of snow are lining the road.
Lowering the speed limit of your vehicle, during wintertime, as per the conditions of the roads, should also be followed.
Maintaining distance between cars that are ahead of your vehicle is also a safety measure that should be practiced when passing by ice-packed streets.
During harsh weather, it is advisable not to be dependent on your car’s auto cruise mechanism.
If there is more than the person that holds a valid driving license, then the drivers should take turns every few hours. In the case of you being the solo driver, make a stopover every 90 minutes or so for taking a break and refreshments.
The wipers should be kept working for facilitating the removal of snow from the windshield.
Try and be patient, do not panic, and never attempt to rush. It is important to think clearly.
5. Driving in Lanes
On multi-lane roads , stick to the lanes that are farthest from the curb. On other roads, keep your car in the center of the road, as snow has a tendency of drifting and collecting on the sides.
Driving your car through present wheel markings should also be followed.
You must never attempt to shift lanes. This is because the wheel could become stuck in ice and you could lose control of the vehicle.
6. Avoid Overtaking
As much as possible, avoid overtaking other vehicles on the road. Never try to surpass brine or snow plow vehicles, as the road conditions could be far worse ahead. Also, accidents can be caused by doing so.
7. Be Careful of Black Ice
You must also be vigilant when passing through bridges during snowy weather because the likelihood of them freezing over remains high. Moreover, they could be covered with black ice which is dark and difficult to see.
8. Managing When Stuck
Sadly, there are times that you may get stuck even after exercising the necessary precautions. In such cases, it is recommended to keep a balanced head and make efforts to get your vehicle off the road securely. Use blankets and warm clothes for comfort; always keep additional resources in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
- You may also consider keeping your car running for short durations at intervals for generating heat.
- Knowing the dangers of carbon monoxide toxicity is also imperative. Here, you must ensure that the tailpipe is not being blocked with snow.
- It is also advised to use a shovel for removing the snow from beneath the automobile, around the wheels, and next to the exhaust.
- Moreover, keep the windows slightly open for breathing fresh air.
- If you have sand in your vehicle, then spread it near the front or rear tires depending on whether your car is a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive.
- Drive slowly while keeping the vehicle in low gear; also, do not attempt to spin the tires because it may result in damaging the transmitter or clutch and cause the snow to pile up underneath the tires.
- If possible, you should also try and move the car backwards and forwards for the car to gain momentum.
9. Precautions with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
During an emergency stopover, you must not pump the brakes if your car is mounted with an ABS; upon releasing the brake, the braking system could go haywire. Instead, maintain constant pressure on the brake for keeping the system functional.
10. Calling for Assistance
As a last resort if you are unable to remove your car from a snow bank, do not hesitate to call for help.
It is essential to remember that your expertise behind the wheel does not matter when driving down snowy-filled lanes through winter. It is important to be precautious, remain aware of your surroundings, and ready yourself to tackle any unwarranted situations.
In this context, driving slowly and staying alerted are important. Keeping yourself updated about the weather conditions is an integral part of the preparation phase and should not be missed.
Additionally, be sure that there is somebody that knows your whereabouts, especially if you are traveling to a place where mobile phones do not operate. By doing so, it will be easy for the assistance authorities to locate you.