Tips for driving in snow safely
Carry the right supplies -
Remember to pack blankets and heavy clothing. These will provide extra insulation in case of an emergency.
A bag of salt is a useful accessory. Salt melts ice and snow by lowering its freezing point.
Tow strap -
Having a strong, reliable tow strap in the car is a necessity if the only way out of a snowdrift is to have your vehicle hauled out by horsepower.
Be prepared -
It's a good idea to carry spare de-icer and spare windshield wiper fluid. A set of jump leads is always useful.
Stay connected -
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged. The number of your roadside assistance provider should be stored in it so you can always call for help.
Properly inflated tires -
A preliminary vehicle check is advisable before you set off. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread.
Fit winter tires -
Better still, if severe winter weather is anticipated, fit winter tires. These provide far more traction in snow, slush, and on ice.
Maintain half a tank of fuel -
It's always advisable to keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area - Warming up a vehicle for several minutes in cold weather is commonplace, but never do so in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
Never use cruise control function - Once on the road, avoid using cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
Drive slowly -
Your driving speed can easily creep up simply out of habit. Always adjust your speed down to account for diminished traction when driving on snow and ice.
Watch your speed -
Accelerate and decelerate slowly when driving in the snow. Again, this is all about maintaining traction and avoiding skids.
Increase your following distance - . Remember: an increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
Know your brakes -
Be prepared to hit the brakes at anytime. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the pedal.
Heed the warning signs -
Do you know what the symbol representing a car with squiggly lines behind it means? This is the stability-control system warning.
Go slow downhill -
Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary. Again, make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front.
Stay with your vehicle -
If the worst happens and you do break down, stay with your vehicle. This is the smartest thing to do.
A night in the car -
If you're stuck in snow overnight, stay warm by using the blankets and extra clothing stored in the trunk. Keep the dome light on if possible.