Perhaps for many, the winter season is more than just snow and the chilly weather.
It’s the time when you can fully enjoy the warmth of a lit fireplace, making snow angels, building a snowman and all the delights brought by this season.
While many enjoy the view of snowfall on their window panes, snow imposes a big challenge for the kings of the road, the drivers.
Because of the slippery road and fog, driving amidst the cold air of winter imposes a big challenge for those who want to use their cars to go to places they need to be.
But before you drive on snow, here are some few reminders.
Plan Your Journey
Before you set off on a fruitful journey, you must plan your journey carefully.
Get updates on traffic news to help make your journey as smooth as possible.
Take note of areas that are going to be exposed to the elements, and perhaps prone to flooding. Keep up-to-date with local weather to ensure you don’t get caught out.
Spend More Time in Prep
During winter, allow for more time than you would usually spend before you leave. Take adequate time to clear car windshield, lights, windows, viewing mirrors, and the top of your roof before stepping on the accelerator.
Driving with snow on your is against the law
in many states. So, be very mindful before you end up breaking the law unconsciously!
Also, Take the time to clean your windscreen from inside too. Driving without full visibility through all of your windows is illegal.
It may be a perfect idea to carry a lock de-icer with you to clear your lock. If your locks do get frozen, try warming the key or spraying deicer or an oil-based lubricant into the lock.
The following checklist will also be time-consuming, so it is too important to be ignored. So, factoring them in too before you set off is a good idea.
Check Your Wipers
You may need to make sure any auto wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition on as this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen.
Your car wipers need to be in good working order, so you're able to clean your windscreen effectively.
Check Your Tires
Checking tires for adequate tread is important. Poor tires will not grip when driving on snow and ice.
If you happen to be living in an area where snow is common, it might be worth changing to winter tires with deeper tread.
If the conditions are really bad, you might want to consider the use of snow socks or even snow chains.
Pack for The Worst
It pays to be equipped for every eventuality by ensuring that your car is packed with the following;
- Demisting pad,
- Torch (wind-up so you don’t run out of battery),
- A hi-visibility vest to make you visible if you break down,
- A blanket to keep you warm,
- Some food in stock,
- A drink,
A first aid kit,
- Some jump leads,
- Ice scraper,
- A spade,
- Awarning triangle,
- A square of carpet which you can put under your drive wheels in case you get stuck in the snow.
The most noteworthy thing to pack with you before you plan to drive in snow is a fully-charged smartphone with the contact number of your breakdown provider stored in it so you can always call for help.
Driving in Snow with a Front Wheel Drive Car
Now, you have checked everything, and you are ready to hit the road covered with snow.
Of course, you wouldn't want the snow to interfere with your activities. That's why here are few tips on how you could drive on snow with your front-wheel-drive (FWD) car;
You Must Need to Plan for Reduced Traction
Allow more time/distance to accelerate and to brake. You have to look for a larger gap when joining traffic, slow down earlier for intersections and exits, and you must leave a larger gap between vehicles.
Moreover, you can’t take curves as fast as you want, so you need to slow down before you can get there.
Perform Your Velocity Changes on A Good Surface
If all possible, slow down completely on the tarmac before taking a snow-covered exit ramp and get on the good tarmac before you go on accelerating.
As much as possible, you must avoid driving with one wheel on the tarmac and one on snow. It will pull you into the snow, and if you brake, it will pull you into the road.
Watch out for Changes in The Underlying Road Surface
You may have a bad moment on a railway crossing. Watch for bridge icing. Look for dynamic speed limits and road signage that may indicate worse conditions ahead.
Watch out for snow-covered obstacles (curbs, barriers, medians, etc.), and for those drivers who are even worse at driving on snow than you are, and who have not left enough time to stop when you have the right-of-way.
Always Carry a Tow Strap
Just because the snow looks flat, does not mean the surface underneath is.Just in case you get stuck, try finesse before brute force.
Rock between ahead and reverse gears to get some pendulum motion going to climb out of a depression.
And if all else fails, carry a tow strap and know how to attach it (modern cars usually have a tow hook and threaded insert under a cover) - you can quickly get a tow from another car without waiting for service.
Get Winter Specific Tires
For driving tips for specific conditions, tires are your number one consideration. Make sure you have tires suitable for snow.
High-performance summer tires are not good in snow. All season tires are okay to use, whereas winter tires are the best.
It is recommended by most users to use a set of winter tires on steel wheels for winter time.