For even the most confident and capable drivers out there, driving on snow can present an array of problems and challenges. Nothing is as it seems and even the simplest of driving tasks can become tricky and cause problems.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to control the weather but it is possible to rein your vehicle under control when cold weather hits and snow begins to fall. When snow lays on the road the amount of grip available to your car is greatly reduced. This significantly changes how your car feels on the road and how it responds to what you ask. Even with the latest gadgets and technology the bottom line still remains that you have far less control over your car when driving in snow and increased care and caution should be exercised.
First and foremost you should avoid driving at high speeds in snowy weather. High speeds plus snow equals disaster, so simply slow down. An important factor to remember is that sudden movements and snowy driving conditions are not a good combination. Due to the lack of grip any sudden movements are likely to be amplified and problems much harder to rectify so it’s better to avoid them in the first instance. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to driving in snow!
Other factors to avoid include harsh acceleration and sudden braking. Hard acceleration will get you nowhere fast and at best will cause your wheels to spin. It’s best to accelerate slowly and keep your car in as high a gear as possible to avoid wheel spin and losing control. Sudden braking won’t bring you to a halt but will instead cause your brakes to lock and the car to slide and spin. If this happens, try to steer into the spin to avoid making the problem worse. It goes without saying you should allow a greater stopping distance on snow covered roads. In snowy conditions stopping distances are around ten times longer than normal so this gives you some idea of what you are dealing with. Rather than using the brakes, instead take your foot off the accelerator if you need to slow down.
Hills can be particularly troublesome when coated with snow. When driving uphill you should try to select the most appropriate gear in advance as you want to avoid gear changes when climbing upwards. When travelling downhill you should choose third or fourth gear to help reduce the chances of skidding.
A final tip is to be aware of other drivers. Driving lessons in the UK don’t cover areas such as driving in poor weather conditions so many drivers are fairly inexperienced when it comes to driving in snow. It pays to stay aware of others at all times, drive according to the conditions and keeping your distance as much as possible.
It’s better to be safe than sorry and avoiding others should also hopefully help you avoid making any claims on your
Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.