Driving in winter

Snow and ice is a winter essentials in many places in the world, but as fun as it might be to enjoy the snowy weather on foot, when it comes to driving in the winter it can not only be scary but also dangerous if you don’t know how to do it. So to be sure of yourself and to know what to do in different winter weather situations I thought I would write a guide to driving in winter weather.

The first thing you need to do to insure that you are ready for driving in winter is to equip your vehicle with proper tires and make sure it is in tip top shape. If you don’t have good winter tires then your car becomes a safety hazard for you and anyone else on the road because good tires can ensure that your car has better grip with the road and you don’t lose control as easily. And things like the gas tank not being empathy and having all crucial car liquids meant even for beloved zero temperatures will help, too, with the starting of the car as well as with how well you will be able to operate it.

Another thing that you need to check before you start driving in winter is if you have a car with front drive, rear drive, full-time four-wheel drive or part time-four-wheel drive, because cars with different drives will react differently when you step on your brake while on an icy road and start skidding. For example if you own a front drive car and you slam of your breaks on ice then most likely the rear of the car will lose traction first and you will able to regain control over your car by taking your foot off the gas pedal and gently applying gas. But cars with rear-drive will lose traction in both front tires first so to straighten out the car and regain control over it you should take your foot off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want to go.

skidding on ice

When you are actually on the road drive more cautiously than you would in the summer. For example make sure that you slow down before turns, because one of the most common causes of slipping on the road in takin turns too fast. Similarly also brake earlier than you would on a dry road, because in winter the breaking distance is greater so you need to allow your car time to slow down.

Tip that many don’t follow even during dry weather is to keep a proper distance. But in winter especially you need to consider keeping a greater distance from other cars, because this will ensure that even if you need to stop suddenly and the road is icy you will have additional time to actually slow down and you will be able to do it without slamming into the back of another car in front of you.

But if there is a time when you lose control of the car on the snow or ice and start to skid, you need to remember not to follow your natural instinct to panic, slam on the brakes and turn the wheel to the opposite direction you are going in. Thant will only make it worse. The easiest and quickest way to regain control over your car will be to take your foot off both the gas and brake pedal and steer into the skid or in the direction your car is skidding. For example if the front or rear of your car is skidding to right, turn you wheel to the right, too, and as the car slows down the tires will regain a grip with the road and you will be able to regain control over the car and continue driving.

Billy Miller
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