Many people feel intimidated while driving in the winter, when the streets and roads are slippery due to snow and ice. If you were raised in a country that is not used to snow, your anxiety may be even greater. Don't worry! Here we will tell you what steps to take when we reach freezing temperatures.
- Be prepared: Before getting in the car in extreme conditions, make sure you have the following:
- Enough fuel to reach your destination
- A mobile phone, in case you need to make an emergency call
- Appropriate winter clothing and extra blankets
- Emergency equipment, such as reflectors, in case you need to stop in the middle of the road
- A shovel and a brush to remove snow
- Sand or salt to create traction, in case you get stuck
- Water and non-perishable food such as fruit bars
- Familiarize yourself with your vehicle: If this is the first time you are driving in extreme conditions, we suggest you practice in an empty lot with no other cars or people. If you still have the car user's guide, we suggest you read it.
- Before setting out on your journey: Check the heating system is working properly, verify the windshield washer fluid has antifreeze and make sure your tires have an adequate pressure.
- Take precautions: During wintertime, it is reasonable to drive slower than usual.
- Braking: Avoid braking abruptly. If your car is equipped with ABS brakes, press the brake-pedal all the way down. In case of skidding, do not brake. If the rear tires are slipping to the left, turn the steering wheel to the left. If the rear tires are slipping to the right, turn the steering wheel to the right.
- Consideration to other drivers: Turn your lights on at all times and use the blinkers to alert other drivers. Keep a larger distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
- Do not pass snow plows: They have little visibility and the road ahead of them is probably in worse conditions.
- If you get stuck: Do not make the tires spin. This will only make matters worse. Turn the tires from one side to the other to push the snow out of their way. Use your shovel to remove the excess of snow and use sand or salt on the trail of the tire to create traction.
Remember the best thing to do is to avoid driving during extreme conditions. If you need to get somewhere for any reason, keep yourself in a state of maximum alert, use common sense and exercise caution.