posted 7 years ago

Safer Snow Driving

Driving in snow is inherently dangerous. However, understanding some simple principles will minimise the risk

Driving in snow is inherently dangerous. However, understanding some simple principles will minimise the risk. So, let's consider the accelerator, gearbox, brakes and steering.

The accelerator must be used smoothly and gently. Hard acceleration causes 'wheel spin' which can disable the steering – particularly in front wheel drive vehicles. Keeping engine revolutions low also minimises the likelihood of wheel spin. Therefore, use higher gears as much as possible.

Brakes must also be applied gently. Hard braking causes skids, whereby vehicles slide uncontrolled with locked wheels. Skidding vehicles can be brought under control by pumping the brake. This gives the tyres additional opportunities to grip. However, this technique may be superfluous in cars with anti-skid systems.

Another consideration is over-steer. This can be caused by fast cornering. Essentially, the rear looses traction and spins the vehicle. This is corrected by applying 'opposite lock'. When the rear slides left - steer left. When the rear slides right - steer right. The amount of 'lock' depends on the angle of the slide. Therefore, simply point the vehicle in the correct direction. Alternatively - stay home and make snowmen.