No matter how much you love winters, planning a road trip on those days could be challenging, especially in snowstorms and icy conditions. Ice and snow both alleviate the amount of traction you have, making your move difficult. Additionally, the foggy weather reduces your visibility, throwing difficulty in seeing the obstacles coming your way.
Unfortunately, if you miss maintaining your car during this time, then weather can make your trip more hazardous. However, we do not want that to happen to you. So, to aid you, we are putting our knowledge in the form of 9 tips on record. It will route you to your destination safely.
Start prepping your car
Before hitting the road, you must prepare your four-wheeler to face the challenges thrown by the wintery climate. It’s a crucial job, so you can take your mechanic’s assistance if you’re not confident about yourself.
So, start the job by checking its tires it should have ample thread to take a grip during snowfall and the right amount of air-filled in it. More importantly, get winter tires if snow, ice, and freezing are common in your area. During winter, there are high chances for you to get stuck in traffic, so keep an eye on your gas tank too. Furthermore, collect your emergency kit, tire chains, and ice scraper.
Outline your route
Along with the alternatives! You may never know when and where snow will fall, despite checking the weather forecast, so always get the back-up ready. Additionally, in such situations, avoid taking steep hills and congested areas. No matter you’re an experienced driver or a newbie, such roads will be risky. Also, other people driving the car may not have that knowledge and collides with your vehicle.
For safety purposes, make sure your phone battery is full; and you’ve charger in the car. But don’t use the phone while driving as you need to focus on the road while winter driving. Finally, keep someone in the loop regarding your plan; inform them about your expected returning time.
The slower you’ll go the farther you’ll get
Consider winter driving as a mission and accomplish it humbly and sleekly. Do you remember the way you’ve driven your car during a license test? Exactly with that focus, but you need to smoothen your drive more in winter. Have you ever watched Fear Factor, where contestants perform a series of stunts? Think that you’ve given one, wherein you need to drive from the fragile objects kept under the pedals without breaking them.
Accelerate and brake, anticipating stops, hills, turns, etc., and adjusting your momentum well in advance. One important thing: Do not use semi-autonomous systems and cruise control during winter. The snowstorm may block its sensors.
Apply less brake but early
When driving on a dry road, you should keep a little distance between your car and the car ahead. But when on snow, you must be extra careful and keep distance of at least 6-10 lengths on a slick highway. For that, brake early to control your car and maintain adequate range.
Manufacturers equip anti-locking braking systems (ABS) in new cars, which does the pulsing for you at each wheel faster than any driver. On the other hand, modern cars with ABS keep the four-wheels stable, allowing the car to head in the direction where you want to go. With this system, the effective way to apply brake is to do it in force and allow the system to lock the wheel.
Momentum can keep you safe and injure you too
The outcome will depend upon your speed! While driving up on slippery hills or deep snow, you should maintain your momentum; that is the key. Once paused or stopped, you cannot keep going. Here, you should not necessarily speed up; just keep your steering in the steady forward momentum.
Additionally, you should strictly follow traffic signals during snowfall or icy circumstances. Drive your car slowly by the time it reaches the marking line, and the light gets green. Well, momentum can also trouble you when it’s time to stop the car. You should not be speeding your four-wheeler so much, which would not allow you to stop at a controlled mark.
Don’t only believe in the all-wheel-drive
The all-wheel drive is a great tool to assist you in moving the car out of the snow. However, it isn’t a magic band that will save you from an accident. As soon as you accelerate your car, the all-wheel-drive will help you maintain traction, but they won’t aid in applying brakes faster.
In reality, the four-wheel-drive makes your car heavier resulting in more momentum. All of these are prone to rolling. But they do perform better than the two-wheel-drive during winter.
Clear your visibility
Before the snow begins to block your visibility, spend a few minutes to wipe it out. Driving a car with snow-filled windows are not only dangerous but also banned in many countries. It merely takes a couple of minutes to do this job; you can do it to save your life.
Furthermore, you must make sure that the headlights and taillights are clear and snow-free. A quick wipe of the lens will allow you to reach your destination safely. Keeping an ice scraper and snow brush can make your job easier. Whatever the case may be, never pour hot water on a car window to remove ice or snow; it will expand any chips and cracks to the window.
Keep an eye on the tailpipe
You should have your tailpipe check before heading to the road trip on a snowy day; make sure it is clear of ice, snow, or debris. If clogged, then carbon monoxide will find a way out to leak into the car’s cabin. The odorless gas can be dangerous to breathing too.
In case you got stuck in the snow, then you’ll try to break your window glass to ask for help. Make sure you don’t damage the exhaust systems as it can lead to exposing exhaust spare parts to road salt. No matter your tailpipe is clear or not, the damaged exhaust system will feed gas inside your car. Hence, get it checked before kickstarting your trip.
Technology is a good friend of yours
Some new cars come up with technologies that help to keep you out of trouble and lay hands if you need it. It includes anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control that assist you in driving a car.
You may also notice the winter modes in many new cars control the transmission and manage traction. It selects the appropriate gear to get you moving without spinning the wheels. You can even check whether or not your vehicle has vital accessories. Check the blog: Must-have tech accessories for your car, and if you don’t have any, then try purchasing it.
To sum up
Many drivers forget the fact that you are the car’s safety feature. The way you take care of your four-wheeler, the way you drive following traffic rules; all results in your safety. These tips are for ultra-safe winter driving. Before starting the trip, take out some time, grab a cup of coffee, and save these tips in your heart. Open it up as a refresher each time you’re boarding on a long drive in the winter.
Hello, I’m Erika Rhein, a professional writer, and blogger by profession. I write on various topics, including automotive, home improvement, fashion, etc. I always endeavor to provide users with helpful and informational articles in a readable format. I aim to achieve a difference through my writing.