What are your best tips for driving in snow?
It's been a pretty rough winter here in the UK. What are hubbers' best tips for driving in the snow for safety and car control?
Don't do it in a compact econo car with rear wheel drive. In Kansas, we've had a lot of snow this year and the vehicles stuck in the ditch and snow drifts were left there by drivers who had no business driving, at least not in tiny cars. My favorite quote from folks who wreck their cars on snow or ice is, "It wasn't my fault, the road was slick!!" In most cases, delaying a necessary trip until the roads are cleared is not a huge sacrifice. On top of that, most snow is predicted at least a few days in advance, giving drivers ample time to prepare for being snowed-in. As for the UK, I don't know how it goes. Can't be much different, can it?
The best tip is ...Don't. Have a day off work, they won't miss you.
Though here where I live in snowy Buffalo, we say it is best to get a six pack and stay off the streets, sometimes driving through the snow is unavoidable. Then again, none of us would ever have to go to work again (well until Spring that is).
So here are a few tips:
1. Increase following distance and decrease speed.
2. If you find yourself in a skid, take your foot off the gas - STAY OFF THE BRAKE, and steer through the skid.
3. Carry enough survival supplies in your vehicle to dig out, stay put, or even walk out.
4. Practice winter driving skills in empty parking lots.
5. Make sure your tires (as well as the rest of the car) are in good working order.
6. Leave early whenever the snow flies.
7. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, try throwing some weight in the back end. I used to carry 100 pounds of tube sand in the trunk of my mustang.
The year I passed my driving test , back in 1980, when it snowed, later that year, I went over to an outdoor pursuits centre where their car-park was little more than a field (with no obstacles) and I had a great time throwing the car into skids, slides and the like. This session gave me an appreciation for how vehicles behave and perform in the snow and how to recover from slides ect. Since then I have always had a certain cautious confidence when driving in the snow.
Now that I'm more mature, when it snow I reach for the push-bike rather than the car keys! Tony
Pretend that your brakes don't work! If you had no brakes on your car how much room would you leave between other cars? Make all turns at a crawl so you don't break traction. I haven't crashed yet driving in snow and always stay away from using my brakes. I think the pretense keeps my driving cautious enough. If you have front wheel drive always go forward, engine weight over the front tires gives you the best traction. If you have rear wheel drive add heavy weight to the trunk or truck bed, if you get stuck try to reverse out of it.
Be very cautious, drive slowly, do not break suddenly. Here in southern California, USA, chains are required on tires, when snow is on the highway. We don't get much, but it does happen. You may want to use chains on your tires too. Even better, don't drive unless absolutely necessary, as some hubbers said.
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