Winter driving can be fun and safe, but it comes with a myriad of challenges, with the most significant concern being maintaining grip on the surface of an icy road, also known as traction. If you cannot maintain traction, you will have problems getting started, slowing down, and making simple maneuvers such as turning a corner.
SUVs Can Have Winter Driving Problems
You would be surprised by the number of SUVs and 4-wheel drive vehicles that find themselves in ditches or overturned next to the highway every winter. A majority of drivers who have been in such accidents in Melbourne believe that 4-wheel drive and snow tires are the solutions to less traction during winter. The overturned vehicle and admission to the hospital with injuries should motivate us to change our approach to winter driving – and to stop believing that 4-wheel-drive can save us from bad driving decisions.
Staying Safe on the Road During Winter
Snowy and icy conditions are often a nightmare for drivers. It is advisable not to drive if you feel uncomfortable and you must always be aware of your limitations. If you must be on the road, you must adhere to these safety tips since they will keep you and other road users safe.
- Practice winter driving in a safe area. This is particularly essential if your region snows a lot since the more you are conversant with the surface, the lower the chances of being involved in an accident.
- Always drive slowly on an icy road. This way, you’ll be more confident and quickly react to skidding if you are at a slow speed.
- Have enough space between you and other road users. Breaking on ice and snow is often more difficult compared to dry roads, so you need some extra space to avoid hitting other vehicles from behind.
- You should not overreact or make sudden swerves when your car starts skidding. You should not hit the emergency brakes but instead slowly maneuver the skid until you have full control of the car.
- Any amount of ice or snow forms loose material beneath the tires and could result in hydroplaning.
- Applying too much force on the wheels could lead to lost traction and sliding. Always take it easy when starting up, accelerating, turning, and breaking.
- Roads that will melt partially during the day will be completely frozen at night. What was previously snow and slush will be snow and ice.
- A thin layer of snow could be the most dangerous of all other winter conditions since the pressure of your car tires could create the thin layer of ice.
Wet ice is usually very slippery, so you must always bear this in mind when temperatures are close to freezing point. At these temperatures, the weight of your car could cause the snow and ice to melt momentarily.
You should always remember that aspects like road surface temperature, tire condition, ambient temperature, operator conditions, and type of snow all play a part in maintaining grid on the road surface or losing it. You should always consider these aspects and alter your perspective to vehicle operations so that you can easily keep control of the vehicle.
It is vital for winter drivers to take heed to the numerous winter driving precautions. Snow tires could come in handy during heavy snow conditions. The other driving tips are essential in all winter weather conditions. Even when there is only a thin layer of snow, it is vital that you keep practicing safe winter driving.