Tips for navigating snowy roads

Before hitting the snowy roads, it’s important to understand the different winter driving conditions you may encounter. Each condition requires specific driving techniques and adjustments to ensure your safety.


Here are the most common winter driving conditions:


1. Snow-covered roads


When the roads are covered in snow, it’s crucial to reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Gentle inputs on the gas, brake, and steering are essential to maintain control of your vehicle.


2. Black ice


Black ice is a thin, transparent layer of ice that can form on the road surface. It’s often difficult to see, making it extremely dangerous. When driving on black ice, it’s essential to reduce your speed significantly, avoid sudden movements, and refrain from braking or accelerating aggressively.


3. Blizzard conditions


During a blizzard, visibility is significantly reduced, and the road surface is covered with snow and ice. It’s advisable to avoid driving in blizzard conditions unless absolutely necessary. If you must venture out, drive at a slow and steady pace, use your headlights, and stay focused on the road ahead.


Tips for Driving in Snow and Ice


Driving in snow and ice requires specific techniques to maintain control of your vehicle and reduce the risk of accidents. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


1. Reduce your speed


​Snow and ice reduce traction, making it harder to stop or control your vehicle. To compensate for this, reduce your speed and give yourself more time to react to potential hazards.


2. Increase your following distance


Make sure to maintain a distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you some space for stopping allowing time for you to react and prevent any potential accidents.


3. Avoid sudden movements


Gently apply pressure to the gas, brake and steering to prevent skidding or sliding. Sudden movements can result in your tires losing grip, which may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.


4. Use your brakes wisely


​When braking on snow or ice, apply steady pressure to the brakes rather than slamming them. This will help prevent your wheels from locking up and skidding.


5. Accelerate slowly


When starting from a stop or accelerating, do so gradually to prevent your wheels from spinning out on slippery surfaces.


Best Practices for Braking and Accelerating on Snowy Roads


Braking and accelerating on snowy roads require finesse and skill to maintain control of your vehicle. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:


1. Braking


When braking on snowy roads, it’s important to use the appropriate technique. Apply steady pressure to the brakes and avoid slamming them. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), let it do its job and refrain from pumping the brakes. ABS will help prevent your wheels from locking up and maintain steering control.


2. Accelerating


When accelerating on snowy roads, do so gradually and smoothly. Avoid sudden movements that can cause your wheels to spin out. If your vehicle has a traction control system (TCS) or electronic stability control (ESC), they will help optimize traction and stability during acceleration.


3. Downshifting


In certain situations, such as descending a steep hill, downshifting can provide additional control by using engine braking. However, it’s important to downshift smoothly and without sudden movements to avoid losing control of your vehicle.


Mastering the art of braking and accelerating on snowy roads takes practice and experience. Go slow and start adopting these practices.


How to Handle Skids and Slides


Dealing with skids and slides can be quite scary. Having the knowledge of how to manage them can truly make an impact, on keeping your vehicle under control. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in a skid or slide:


1. Stay calm


It’s natural to feel panicked when your vehicle starts to skid or slide, but it’s crucial to stay calm and avoid overreacting.


2. Steer into the skid


If your rear wheels lose traction and your vehicle starts to fishtail, steer in the direction of the skid. This means turning the wheel in the same direction as the rear of your vehicle is sliding.


3. Avoid sudden braking or acceleration


​Do not slam on the brakes or abruptly accelerate when you’re in a skid or slide. Instead, focus on maintaining a smooth and steady driving motion.


4. Regain control


As your vehicle starts to regain traction, gently steer in the direction you want to go. Once you have control, adjust your speed and driving technique to prevent further skids or slides.


Handling skids and slides effectively requires quick thinking and precise actions. To increase your likelihood of regaining control and averting an accident it’s crucial to remain composed and diligently adhere to these steps.


Winter Driving Etiquette and Sharing the Road


Winter driving etiquette is crucial for promoting safety and maintaining a smooth flow of traffic. Here are some tips for sharing the road during winter:


1. Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Allow ample space for braking and reacting to sudden changes in traffic.


2. Indicate your intentions early by using your turn signals.


3. Give snowplows and sanding trucks plenty of space to work. Avoid passing them unless it’s safe to do so and yield to their right of way.


4. If you come across a stranded motorist, use caution and assist them if it’s safe to do so. This could include providing a jump-start, lending a phone to call for help, or offering directions to the nearest service station.


Emergency Preparedness for Winter Driving


No matter how well-prepared you are, emergencies can still occur. Being prepared for unexpected situations is crucial for your safety. Here’s what you can do:


1. Before heading out, check weather forecasts and road conditions. Stay updated on any advisories.


2. Choose the safest routes with well-maintained and plowed roads. Avoid areas prone to flooding or known for hazardous conditions.


3. Let someone know your travel plans, including your intended route and estimated arrival time.


4. If you become stranded, it’s generally safer to stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine periodically for warmth, but make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.


5. If you’ require assistance, call emergency services or roadside assistance. Stay on the line until help arrives and follow their instructions.


Following the above tips and precautions will make you confident. So, buckle up, stay safe, and enjoy the beauty of winter from behind the wheel.

Created By Arjun Kamra

Powered By