How to drive safely in the snow
It’s that time of year again. We’re not exactly talking about the holidays, although they are indeed just around the corner. No, we’re talking about the thing that impacts all of us: winter weather.
If you live in a norther part of the country, navigating snow and ice with your car is a way of life for part of the year. But in many parts of the country, snow isn’t on the ground for the entire winter, like in Wyoming. It comes in waves. One day, it’s dry and sunny. The next day, you wake up and there’s 8 inches of snow on the ground outside. But you’re still expected to be at work, which means you’ll now have to brave the snow with your car.
Now, to be clear, we’re not advising driving in hazardous conditions. The tips we’ve put together here won’t help you if the weather’s bad enough. So, when in doubt, stay home and don’t take your car out on the roads.
But, when driving is necessary and the conditions are good enough for it to be sensible, there are certain practices that will keep you safer. Read on the learn more.
Get the right equipment
There are certain measures you can take ahead of time to make driving in the snow easier. First off, it’s good to have a snow shovel on hand to shovel out your driveway. Often, the main roads will be cleared and salted; but, if you have a long, windy, or steep driveway, the most treacherous part of your trip could involve getting your vehicle from where it’s parked out onto the road itself. Shoveling a clear path will make things easier, and it’s often well worth the time and effort. And yes, we know: it’s annoying to shovel snow while it’s snowing, and see your progress be erased before your eyes.
One of the best things you can do to make driving in the snow easier, though, is fairly straightforward: switch out your current tires for snow tires. Snow tires have incredibly deep tread, which helps them slice right through the snow and make contact with the road. More importantly, though, they’re made of a special kind of rubber that’s much softer than normal tires, which allows them to do a better job of gripping the road when it’s cold and snow-covered. You’ll be amazed at the difference in traction that a proper set of snow tires adds to your vehicle.
If you keep one single thing in mind while driving in the snow, it should be this: take it slow. And not just in terms of speed: do everything a bit slower. You’ll need to accelerate and brake much more gradually than usual. You also want to avoid doing anything sudden with the steering wheel: turn it slowly when you need to turn your vehicle. Remember that your tires are trying to grip a cold, wet, slippery surface. Be patient with them.
With these tips in mind, we wish you a warm, safe, happy winter season!