With the current situation in half the country due to the effects of the storm Filomena, it is more important than ever to know how to drive with snow or ice on the road. What should you do?
Driving in extreme conditions such as ice or snow on the road can be quite dangerous, and in fact, when the road is impractical, the best advice is to leave the car parked. But if by urgency or necessity we must drive, in this article we explain how to drive with snow and what you should do when there is ice on the road.
Driving in snow: adopt a driving style based on continuous prevention
As temperatures drop, extreme caution must be exercised.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the mere fact that temperatures drop below 4ºC can significantly affect the grip of the tires.
This means that, even if there is no snow or ice, it is possible to experience some kind of skidding when cornering. In addition, the stopping distance also increases.
Anticipating possible unforeseen events should be part of the driving criteria of anyone who gets behind the wheel.
However, when there is snow on the road, and especially if it is still snowing, caution levels should be increased above what is normally acceptable.
Increase the safety distance
As we have explained, the braking distance increases with low temperatures and / or snow on the asphalt.
For this reason, it is essential to leave more safety distance with respect to the vehicles that precede you.
A slower ride minimizes the chances of skidding around corners and makes it possible to perform smoother braking.
Avoid sudden movements at the wheel
When there is snow or ice, steering turns can cause the car to lose its trajectory very easily.
Use the brake gently and give priority to the engine brake to slow down the car
Slamming on the brakes can cause the wheels to skid on a slippery surface.
In addition to using the brake gently, it is recommended to use the engine brake for deceleration maneuvers.
Eliminate any distraction factor inside or outside the vehicle
Any little distraction while driving increases your reaction time. Just a second of difference can mean traveling several dozen extra meters.
Check which are the biggest distractions behind the wheel and eliminate them as soon as possible.
Pay attention to shady areas and changing weather
Shaded areas such as tunnels or tree-lined roads are more prone to the appearance of isolated ice sheets.
The moment you notice an area like this, slow down and check that the asphalt is in good condition, before stepping on the accelerator again.
Changes in the weather also cause driving conditions on the road to change rapidly. If temperatures drop or snow begins to fall, slow down.
Bring the chains ready in the trunk
It goes without saying that, in winter, you should always have a set of chains ready in the trunk or, failing that, equip the car with winter wheels.
Be very careful with driving fatigue. Using the heater – understandable in winter – can make you drowsy.
With ice or snow it is advisable to drive with a high gear ratio
Continuous gear changes, as well as driving in a low gear ratio, increase the chances of losing control of the car.
Instead, it is best to go for a high gear ratio and constant speed.
This technique will make the ride smoother, minimizing the chance of the wheels skidding on ice or snow.
How to start the march with snow on the road?
If the car is parked in an area covered with snow and with the presence of ice, the wheels are most likely to skid if you try to start off in first gear.
Instead, you should put second and release the clutch extremely gently.
The goal is for the wheels to start spinning as slowly as possible to avoid skidding on the snow.
Before starting out, check the condition of the car
Low temperatures affect a vehicle a lot, especially if it has been outside for many hours.
We have an article in which we explain all the details:
We trust these tips on how to drive in snow will help you this winter and allow you to reach your destination without any mishap.