It is only when we start complaining about the fact there are no more seasons and that we never get any more snow during the winter that it suddenly starts falling. This usually makes most people happy at first, it is snowing, everything becomes white, there’s a lovely christmas feel and children are making snowmen in the garden.
Unfortunately, after a day or two, reality kicks in and snow becomes the reason why there is ice on the road, why there are many traffic jams, why buses can’t run any more, why getting to work suddenly becomes very challenging. Basically, getting somewhere takes a lot more time and for many, this can become tiresome.
The first tip you’ll find on most winter driving guides and that most people actually apply quite well: slow down
Most of you will have noticed this is usually something people do very naturally. I have actually heard some people complain about drivers who were too slow just because of a bit of snow on the roads, and that they were the main reason for the traffic jams. They might actually be the ones stopping you from sliding, at the risk of hurting not only yourself but also your passengers, pedestrians, and maybe damaging your car. Slowing down allows you to adapt to the change in grip which occurs and stay in control.
The second tip is actually a much less followed one: stay alert and concentrated
I see quite a few people on their mobile phones while driving in icy or snowy conditions. How is this even possible ? It is bad enough when driving in normal conditions but on ice ? Being alert is about being able to react on time at situations like slowing down cars ahead or tricky road turns. Hitting the breaks in normal conditions can help, but not when you’re driving on packed snow or ice.
The third tip which can easily be forgotten or underestimated: make sure your vehicle is ready for the icy conditions
It might sound straight forward, but here is a list of things you might want to check before you go.
- Is there enough petrol in case you are rerouted due to bad road conditions or stuck in traffic jams ?
- Do you have enough windshield washer fluid and is it adapted to the temperatures you’re driving in ?
- Have you managed to get rid of snow and ice from all windows of your car
- Is your heating system working to make sure you can get rid of the inside fog ?
It’s in these exceptional times that it is important to make sure your car is winter ready with a recent maintenance check up, because you don’t want to be stranded on the roadside in a car which refuses to start and with a low battery.
As always, avoid going out if you can, it’ll save you time, frustration and could give you some quality time with your family.
Do you have any driving tips when you have to be on the road in snowy or icy conditions ? Share it with us in the comments, it’ll always help someone.