Helpful Techniques for Driving in the Snow

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When camping and traveling through wilderness areas, you can end up in some dangerous driving conditions. Especially in the winter, when traveling to the mountains, you can risk waking up to a snowstorm that you have to drive in. So while it is always preferable not to drive in the snow, sometimes it’s necessary. Check out these helpful techniques for driving in the snow to understand the best way to approach these hazardous conditions.

Drive and Accelerate Slowly

When driving on the snow, you’re fighting a challenge against traction. Snow combines the slipperiness of ice with the instability of mud to make a very difficult driving surface, so you’ll need to be extremely careful. So, keeping in mind that the slow one wins the race, make sure to drive and accelerate slowly. You shouldn’t hurry driving on snow, as it can quickly lead to accidents. Instead, take your time driving at very low speeds. Besides the risk of losing control, accelerating too fast in the snow can sometimes kick up the snow around you. In that case, the tire could get stuck, buried in the snow.

Don’t Stop Unless Necessary

Building momentum is a lot more difficult than sustaining it, especially when going uphill. Getting a car rolling in demanding conditions can be challenging, so don’t stop unless necessary once you’re going. Also, if you need to brake, you’ll want to do it gradually because a hard brake could cause you to slide.

Handling Skids

Regardless of how careful you are, you still might start skidding along the ice anyway. If this does happen, you mustn’t panic. Without hitting the brakes, let off of the acceleration. Since you’ve lost control of your tires, turn them in the direction you’re moving. Hopefully, this will help them gain traction. Then, you can turn them back in the direction you want to go.

What To Do Once Stuck

If, however, you do get stuck on the side of the road, there are a few things you can do to free the car. First, clear out the snow around the tires to make a path. Also, clean any snow out that could have gotten into the exhaust. If you can’t immediately get free, call for help rather than wasting your gas and tiring yourself out. If your phone isn’t working, stay with your vehicle as long as possible. Abandoning your car to seek assistance should be a last resort, as you are putting your life at risk by exposing yourself to the cold.

Be Prepared

Lastly, in the case of an emergency, you’ll want to be prepared. Besides your spare tire, you’ll want to keep a winter road trip safety kit in the trunk of your vehicle. This emergency kit should have a portable shovel for digging out any snow, thermal gear for working outside, and some food to tide you over until help arrives. With these helpful techniques for driving in the snow, you’ll hopefully avoid any runoffs and accidents in this hazardous weather.

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Written by Henry Johnson

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