Driving in the snow can be treacherous. The roads become slippery, and it can be hard to see if the snow is coming down hard enough. A lot of accidents occur when it is snowing, and not all of them can be avoided. Some of them could be however, if everyone knew a few basic things about driving in the snow. While the tips below may not make it easy to drive in the snow, and may not even prevent an accident, you stand a better chance if you follow them.
1. Check your car – The first thing to do is the most important. Check your car and be sure it is ready to drive in the snow. Do you have good tires? How are your brakes? Do the wipers work? All of this is important information to know before you drive. If you see any problems, you’ll want to get them taken of as soon as you can – preferably before you need to drive in the snow.
2. Be prepared – There are some things you should store in your car in case of an emergency. Things like a flashlight, some bottles of water, and maybe a snack bar or two are a good start. Besides that, you’ll want a bag of sand in case you get stuck in the snow. The sand will help you to get traction so you can move your car out.
3. Get the car ready – Before you pull out, make sure the lights are on and that all of your windows have been defrosted. You don’t want anything obstructing your vision while you are driving. Also be sure the car has had time to warm up before you pull out, to prevent any damage to the inside of the car.
4. Start slow – When you begin driving, take it slow. See how the roads are and how your car is handling them. Don’t try and do too much when first starting. See if you can steer properly, and that your breaks work. Once you are comfortable that your car will be okay, you can speed it up a little bit.
5. Be cautious – Just because you are handling it okay so far though, doesn’t mean you should speed. Your entire trip should be slow and careful. Look out for dangerous areas like black ice, bridges, or blowing snow. You’ll want plenty of time to stop your car if you see anything risky, so take it slow and keep your eyes peeled.
6. Prevent skids – At all costs, try to avoid sudden braking or turning. Doing so could cause your car to skid, and you won’t have much control over it at this time. Apply steady and firm pressure on either of the pedals, don’t pump either of them. If you find yourself starting to skid, turn the wheel in the same direction to get out of it.
As we said, these tips may not save your life, but they won’t hurt. It is always a good idea to follow basic safety precautions when driving in the snow, and the above list is a good place to start. Just remember to take your time, because driving in the snow is no time to rush. Be alert, and watch out for anything that could cause a problem. If you can do this, you should be alright driving in the snow.