Driving Essentials :: Tips For Driving In The Snow

Whether you are a driver that has recently passed, or an experienced driver, travelling in the snow can greatly affect the way you need to drive the car and also how your car behaves.

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Regardless of whether your car has the best braking system available, it is often not the car brakes that will cause an accident in such conditions, but the lack of grip between the road surface and the tyres. This is fairly apparent, nevertheless many people believe that their vehicle is safer to driver in snow as it is high-performance or has the latest stability control technology, which may not be the case.

The cornering ability of the car is almost non-existent, and it may feel like you can not control the vehicle and might slide sideways slightly. It is essential to remain focused and refrain from any sudden braking, sharp acceleration, and travelling at high speeds. Be aware of what is around you and allow plenty of time to react to any situation, such as moving traffic. Before reaching the turn, ensure that you have slowed down long before taking the corner, and also make certain that you do so in a straight line so that you avoid loss of control.

When pulling away from a stand-still; try and do so a higher gear such as in second as opposed to first. This will limit the degree of wheel spin you could encounter. Likewise, whilst travelling, drive in as high a gear as possible to also limit wheel spin.

A remarkable point to make is that most drivers, however experienced they are at driving in typical conditions, will in fact have driven fewer miles in the snow than they will have in normal driving conditions when they were learning to drive. This shows the amount of drivers on the road that may be unproven drivers in snow.

When braking, avoid any sudden slowing down as this will cause the car to skid if you are on ice or snow. Should you find yourself skidding, release your foot from the brake and reapply (you may remember this from your driving lessons, although with ABS technology doing this for you in the dry, this may not have been the case). Additionally, you can also use the gears to help slow down the vehicle somewhat. Change to a lower gear carefully and allow the engine help the car lessen its speed.

Although there is a lot to consider when driving in the snow, it is also highly important that you bear in mind that other drivers may not be experienced in the snow. Consequently, do not assume that other drivers are going to do something; in other words, expect the unexpected. One example would be to assume that a driver is going to stop and give way whilst you are manoeuvring around a roundabout, although this may not occur if the driver has not applied their brakes early enough.


Importantly, before setting off on your journey, consider the following:

- Do you have to take the journey, and if you do can it wait until the roads are clear?
- Do you have a mobile phone with you in case of an emergency?
- Have you informed someone of where you are going?
- Have you checked that your destination is accessible by road?
- Do you have a blanket or appropriate clothing in case you become stranded in traffic?

About the Author:

Justin Brown is the owner of the site http://www.idealauto.co.uk where you can find information on a variety of automobile related subjects, and also sell any used cars in the UK


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