Driving in snow can be hazardous when the right safety measures are not put in place before driving and while driving. Let’s take a look at some things to do before and during your journey that will guarantee your safety.
Things to do before you start driving in the snow
- Ensure that you are not fatigued before you embark on the journey. Take time to rest before you set out driving in winter weather.
- Have at least a half-filled tank before you set out. Anything lower than this put you at the risk of a gas line freeze-up, and this can get you stuck.
- Get to know what the current weather report says especially if you are going to be driving unfamiliar routes or isolated areas. Avoid driving in bad weather knowing that a delayed journey is better than been trapped out there.
- Ensure you have items such as cellular phone, gloves, hats, food, blankets, spare mobile phone/charger torch, shovel and your medication if you use some with you in the car.
- Stay back if you can avoid going out. Only set out if the reason for going out is extremely important. It’s not a time for a leisure drive.
While driving in snow
- Accelerate slowly when driving in snow and do the same thing while decelerating. This is the fundamental way of preventing your vehicle from skidding. Don’t drive your vehicle in a hurry instead take your time to move slowly and observe your braking distance. You need a longer range to come to a halt in snow than in a normal condition.
- If you can avoid bringing your car to a complete stop such as when approaching a traffic light, please do it.
- Avoid applying extra gas uphill as it can get your tires to start spinning. Get some inertia before reaching the base of a hill your are approaching and ensure you use such inertia while going uphill. If you are going on a descend immediately, you get to the top of the hill, reduce your speed and go down gently.
- Keep a reasonable distance between you and the car in front of you. Reduce your speed when driving in snow, it is the safest thing to do. An icy condition makes your break less efficient and reduces your traction.
- If you become snowbound, stay in your car. It is safer than walking in the storm. Rescuers can easily find you in your vehicle, and it provides a temporary shelter.
- When a car is stuck, don’t exert yourself beyond the limit, trying to get the vehicle out. Ensure that the exhaust of your vehicle is not blocked with ice or mud to prevent carbon monoxide gas leakage into the car.
- You can tie a bright colored cloth to your antenna or somewhere feasible on the car and keep the dome light on. This will aid rescuers in locating you.
- Call for help using your phone before you run out of battery or fuel.