page title icon How To Drive In Snow: Winter & Ice Driving Tips

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driving on cold and foggy road

Probably the best advice one can give you about how to drive in snow is not to go out at all. This is because no amount of reading can help you actually rise up to the situation when you are skidding on snow. However, many of you are forced to drive in snow and ice due to your professional and other commitments. Let us see some valuable tips that will help you avoid an unpleasant incident when you drive in snow.

Apart from taking the necessary checks on your car for winter driving, you must also carry enough warm clothes and other supplies with you should you get stuck somewhere. Always leave a little extra time because it is going to take more time to reach where you want to go. Your tires are the most important factor when driving in snow, and you must ensure they have enough tread on them for good traction.

Driving In Snow

The first thing you must know about how to drive in snow is that you must always leave enough space between you and the car in front. It is best to leave as much as ten times that you would normally leave between behind the car in front. It is better to drive in second gear to avoid wheel slip. If your vehicle has a snow gear, then use that. Drive steadily and maintain the same speed.

driving in snow stopping distances

When you are going uphill, leave more space in front of you so that you can drive steadily without changing gears or braking. When going downhill, drive in a low gear so you can avoid too much braking. At a bend, plan beforehand and brake gently before you turn the steering wheel. Take your foot off the accelerator and make sure you are pointed in the direction you need to go.

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Steering On Ice And Snow

You should use the steering wheel smoothly and in a controlled manner when driving in snow. You should not do any quick turning of the steering wheels. You must know how to manage oversteer and understeer. Oversteer happens when the rear wheels lose their grip, and the rear starts moving out.

This makes turning tighter than it should be. You should not apply the brakes if this happens. You should also not turn the steering wheel to compensate for the skid.

You must gently drive into the skid and accelerate smoothly to control the car. Understeer happens when it is the front wheels that skid instead of gripping the road. Here again, you should avoid braking or turn sharply into the turn. You must slow the car and turn the steering to straighten the vehicle until you get a grip on the road.

What Is Best For Snow Driving?

There are generally three products which you can use for driving snow. There are winter tires, snow socks and snow chains. You must know which is best for you. Winter tires are good in conditions of rain, snow, and ice. They offer a better grip than your normal tires. But these are not very effective in deep snow. These are good if you live in a place with frequent bad weather conditions.

how to drive in snow

Snow socks are cheaper to have than winter tires and can be used if there is unexpected snow when you are returning from the office. They are easier to fit than snow chains and good to have in your car during the winter months. Snow socks are textile liners for your tires and provide a better grip on the road.

Snow chains are the best for driving in deep snow. These are best to use on compacted ice. But they are more difficult to fit than snow socks. Snow chains must be removed when the road is better, or you will risk damaging your car and the road.

Whether you fit snow socks or snow chains, you must ensure that you fit them on your drive wheels. If it is a four-wheel drive, you must fit these on all the wheels. You must read the instructions in the user manual and see whether your vehicle can be fitted with snow chains. Most vehicles today can be fitted with them.

Other Things To Take Care

When you drive on snow, always drive with your headlights dipped. If the visibility is less than 100 m, then you should use your fog lamps. Remember to turn off the fog lamps when the visibility is better. You can wear sunglasses to avoid the glare of the low sun on the snow.

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It is better not to drive on vehicles tracks as the compacted ice and be more slippery than snow. You can run the air conditioner on fresh air mode even if you have set it on heating mode. This will ensure that no frost appears inside the windshields.