Winter driving and what you should know...
Well‚ its that time of the year again‚ you all know what I’m talking about. You go to bed and wake–up to a nice fresh snowfall. "WHAT!!‚ Where did this come from" You ask. "Those damn weather men‚ couldn’t they see this coming?" You curse to yourself.
Weather prediction is making leaps forward‚ but lets be honest here. It’s far from perfect. In the meantime your going to have to deal with it and make that long slippery drive into work. Bundle up‚ get the ice scraper‚ and let’s begin!
Number one‚ the most important thing... Get Winter Tires. Yeah‚ thats right. WINTER TIRES‚ I’m not talking about those all season tires they push so hard at the local tire shop. Get the real deal. They make a huge difference‚ I’m talking a 20–40% difference in stopping distance. That can easily be life or death. Do I need to say more? Get Winter Tires...
Ok‚ So you went out and bought those winter tires I have been raving about‚ "Wow‚ this is great you say". Just because you have those top of the line Blazzak tires‚ doesn’t necessary mean your unstoppable‚ far from it.
Be aware of your surroundings and know the road conditions. Winter tires will get you going much faster and they also help you stop‚ but driving to fast on icy road conditions can still cause a spinout.
If your ever involved in a skid or spinout:
• Steer in the direction of the skid. Pick a spot where your want your vehicle to end up and steer towards it. Be careful not to oversteer.
• If your skidding in a straight line and starting to drift‚ step on the clutch or shift the vehicle into Neutral.
• If your vehicle is equipped with Anti–Lock brakes‚ be sure to read your owners manual about proper usage. (read prior to snowfall‚ not during the skid)
So you survived the spin–out and now your stuck in a snow drift. "Now What?" your thinking. Well don’t panic‚ remember that safety kit you packed in the backseat?... Uh ohh‚ you never got one? Get a safety kit‚ head down to your nearest Walmart and buy one‚ they don’t cost much and can provide you with the tools necessary to make your cold wait for the tow–truck a lot more bearable.
If your not stuck all that bad‚ try these simple steps and try to break yourself free.
• Do not spin your wheels‚ winter tires or not. This only makes things worse by digging yourself in deeper or polishing off the snow to a nice icy surface.
• Use very light pressure on the gas pedal. Remember‚ don’t spin the tires.
• Increase gas pedal pressure and slowly turn the wheels from side to side‚ if possible‚ rock the vehicle forward/backward.
• If all else fails‚ a get a snow shovel and dig your way out. Or wait for the tow-truck...
If your nervous about driving in a winter storm‚ please do us all a favor‚ stay off the roads. It’s those drivers that usually cause a chain reaction pileup. :)
Drive safe‚ happy skids!