How to Drive Safely During Snow

By Michelle

How to drive safely in the snow.

If you live in an area where it snows throughout the year for some parts of it, you must have seen drivers rush by you. Sometimes it must have also made you wonder that they may end up in a ditch. So, whether they did or not, it is for sure that you do not want to be that person.

Thus, whether you are an amateur taking a class at a driving school or an expert, you must equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to drive confidently and securely. This article will guide you and provide tips on driving safely during snow. So, keep reading.

Why is it Hard to Drive in Snow?

There are a few reasons why driving in the snow might be difficult while you are on the road. Freezing temperatures, inadequate visibility, and slippery road situations increase the risk of losing control of your vehicle and the chances of an accident.

The tires start to skid, and because of this, your automobile will be harder to manoeuvre, accelerate, and stop. Snow may cover critical road markers and hazards, making it challenging to see where you are going and what's in front of you. Last but not least, snow can make it harder to see since it sticks to your windscreen and covers your windows.

These elements make driving in the snow challenging and call for particular caution. Moreover, if you are a beginner, it can be twice as hard for you. Thus, you must gain proper knowledge and take lessons from a reliable driving school to cultivate your driving skills.

Top 7 Tips to Drive Safely in Snow

Driving in snow can be challenging and dangerous, but with the help of driving lessons and these tips, you can drive safely and avoid accidents.

1.Slow & Steady wins the race

Snow creates a slick surface that reduces the grip between your tires and the road. Adjusting your speed when driving in snowy conditions is crucial for maintaining control. Driving slower than usual gives you more time to react to unexpected situations.

This extra reaction time is invaluable when roads are slippery, as sudden stops or turns can lead to skids. Also, gently apply the gas when starting from a stop to avoid spinning your tires and losing control. Gradually increase your speed, allowing your car to build momentum without overwhelming your tires. Such control comes in handy when driving in snow. Therefore, if you are a beginner, it is essential to classes from a good driving school to learn how to adjust the speed on a snowy road.

2.Keep a safe distance

Maintaining a safe following distance is essential for snow-covered roads. In ideal conditions, the "3-second rule" applies – you should be at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. However, increase this distance to 5 to 6 seconds in snowy conditions.

As taught during a driving lesson, this extended space provides a buffer in case you need to brake suddenly. It also accounts for the increased stopping distance on slippery roads, reducing the risk of rear-end collisions.

3.Gentle on the gas & brake

You must use a delicate touch on the gas and brake pedals on snowy roads. Avoid stomping on the gas pedal when accelerating, as this can cause your wheels to spin. Instead, press the gas pedal gently and evenly to maintain traction.

Similarly, braking should be done smoothly and progressively, as emphasised in a winter driving lesson. Applying sudden or brutal pressure on the brakes can lock up your wheels, leading to a skid.

If your car has antilock brakes (ABS), apply them firmly, with continuous pressure on the brake pedal. This allows the ABS to modulate braking automatically.

4.Go easy with steering

When steering in snowy conditions, the key is gradual and deliberate steering. Avoid making sudden, sharp movements with the steering wheel, as this can lead to losing control, as you must have been taught while taking lessons from a driving school.

Moreover, if your car starts to slide, gently turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go. Overcorrecting can worsen the skid. Use a light touch on the steering wheel and make controlled, smooth adjustments to your vehicle's direction.

5.Clear all windows & lights

Visibility is paramount when driving in snow. Before starting your journey, ensure that all your windows, mirrors, and lights are free of snow and ice. Use a scraper and a brush to remove accumulated snow from your windshield, rear window, and side mirrors.

Clear your headlights and taillights to make your vehicle visible to other drivers. Reduced visibility due to snow-covered windows can increase the risk of accidents, so take the time to thoroughly clean them before hitting the road. Moreover, getting training from Melbourne or Sydney driving school would also help you get lessons on how to clean your mirror for safe driving.

6.tyre pressure check

When checking your tyre pressure, it is crucial to ensure that your tyres are inflated correctly, especially in snowy conditions. The reason behind this lies in the delicate balance between traction and handling on slippery roads. Properly inflated tyres offer optimal contact between the tread and the road surface.

This increased contact allows the tread to grip the snow. This generates more friction and provides enhanced control and stability as you drive through challenging conditions. Lowering tire pressure slightly in snowy conditions can widen the tyre's footprint, distributing the vehicle's weight over a larger area and reducing the risk of the tires sinking too deeply into the snow.

7.Plan & be prepared

Before traveling in the snow, check the weather forecast and the road conditions. If the weather is terrible, consider postponing your trip until things get better. If you must drive, take additional time for your trip and pick busy roads more likely to be plowed and maintained.

You should also include an emergency kit in your car. Essentials like blankets, water, non-perishable food, a torch with additional batteries, and a simple first aid kit should all be included in this bag. These items may come in handy if you get snowed in or face unforeseen delays.

The Bottom Line

Remember, driving in snow demands a slower pace, increased following distance, and gentle control over the gas and brake pedals. Clear visibility is key, so keep all windows and lights free from snow accumulation. Understanding your brakes and planning for the journey can significantly impact your driving experience during snowy weather.  

Moreover, if you are looking to enhance your winter driving skills further, consider enrolling with Onroad Sydney Driving School. They have experienced and dedicated driving instructors to guide you through the intricacies of winter driving. With their specialised driving lessons, you can gain the confidence and expertise needed to navigate slippery roads, maintain control in adverse weather, and ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.

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