Jalopnik did some interesting and good prepare for winter driving tips.
10.) Get Dedicated Snow Tires
‘All season’ tires are actually just ‘three season’ tires. If it’s freezing and there’s snow on the ground, you need winter tires, it’s as simple as that.
9.) Stay In The Tracks Cleared By Other Vehicles
If it’s been snowing, stick to the path that other vehicles (especially trucks) have been taking. It’s like coloring in the lines; just follow the two dark lines in the snow and you’ll have more traction.
8.) Put Sandbags In Your Truck Bed
If you’ve got a truck, weigh the back end down with sandbags. If you don’t, your back wheels will be spinning all over the place.
7.) Practice Putting Chains On Your Car
If the road is snow-covered enough and slippery enough that you think you might need to put on chains, you should put on chains.
Just bringing chains in your car isn’t enough. Practice putting them on before you need to use them. Hey, you may not even have the right size chains.
6.) Bring Proper Gear
Here’s a checklist for small things you need to get for winter driving.
- Ice scraper — CLEAR YOUR WINDSHIELD
- Winter wiper blades — regular blades won’t clear lots of snow, slush, or ice
- Child’s shovel – in case you need to dig yourself out of a snowdrift, like Kimi Räikkönen up there
- Washer fluid – it makes your wipers work
- Antifreeze – it keeps your car warm and happy
- A blanket – the thought of cuddling with your passenger for warmth sounds like fun until you realize you’re stuck in the car with your mother in law
- Food and water – you don’t want to end up like a horror movie where you have to eat your friend
5.) Use Small, Smooth Inputs At The Wheel
Don’t saw at the wheel, especially when you’re braking or accelerating. Basically, try to split up your actions into three different categories: braking, accelerating, or turning. Don’t try to do more than one of these things at a time or you will end up sliding very, very sideways.
4.) Check Traction On New Surfaces
If you want to be safe in the winter, test the road for traction. Here’s how to do a test.
When you’re driving, slowly increase the pressure on the gas pedal until you hear the revs spike. This sound means you’re spinning your wheels. Slowly release the pressure on the gas pedal until the wheels stop spinning. Go back and forth on the gas (not touching the brake) until you know just how much gas you can give the car before the wheels start spinning.
The same works for braking. Test just how much brake you can give your car before you start skidding or the ABS kicks in.
3.) Remember That Four Wheel Drive Won’t Save You
4WD and AWD are great for helping your accelerate in the snow, but they do nothing, nothing, to help you stop.
Suggested By: Hadaken, Photo Credit: Getty Images
2.) Remember That Even Snow Tires Don’t Make You Invincible.
You may have done everything right: you’ve bought an AWD SUV or Subaru and you’ve put snow tires on. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN SPEED IN THE SNOW. Drive with caution. Check your traction. Use smooth, small inputs at the wheel.
Suggested By: Victorious Secret, Photo Credit: Getty Images
Go out to a snowy parking lot. Try the traction tests we mentioned earlier. Do the same tests while turning slightly. The car will start to slide and learn how to restore traction with the smallest, gentlest corrections. When you have a sense of that, go play around and do some donuts/drifts/whatever. You’ve earned it.
I TOTALLY agree on #3. A lot of drivers here thinks AWD &/or 4WD make them invincible and drive like idiots! AWD/4WD may help the car accelerate, but it doesn’t help stopping.
Anyone else have any other tips for winter driving?