How to Drive in Snow and Other Weather Conditions: A Useful Guide

Estimated read time 5 min read

Drive-in Snow and Other Weather Conditions is a tough task no matter where you live. The first step to safer driving is knowing what kind of winter weather you’ll encounter. Snow is more manageable than sleet or freezing rain. If it is going to snow, will it be a blizzard or a quick-hitting clipper? You’re more likely to wreck in a short, fast-moving storm or snow squall, and you’re more likely to get stranded during a blizzard or lake effect snow. In the post, we would share How to Drive in Snow and Other Weather Conditions for your reference.

Tips When Driving in the Rain

Tips When Driving in the Rain

Rainy conditions can cause roads to be more slippery than when you’re driving on ice. You should follow these tips when driving while it’s raining:

  1. Give yourself more time to reach your destination, so you don’t feel like you have to speed up to get somewhere on time.
  2. Turn on your headlights even if it’s daytime because visibility is significantly reduced in rain or the fog that sometimes comes with rain. Headlights allow you to see better and for others to see you too.
  3. If you can keep your driving speed at 35 mph or slower, you’re less likely to have hydroplaning occur. That’s because tires get better traction on wet pavements at lower speeds, so by slowing down while driving you’ll have enough time to react to:
  • Sudden traffic stops
  • Disabled cars
  • Debris that’s been blown or moved to the road by the rain
  • Any traffic slowdowns
  • Standing water that splashes onto your windshield

Never tailgate another car, especially while driving in the rain. Give yourself as much distance as you can between you and the car ahead of you. You may need twice as much stopping distance, which equals four car lengths.

Don’t Fight Stability Traction Control Systems

Don't Fight Stability Traction Control Systems
How to Drive in Snow and Other Weather Conditions

We know that a vehicle’s electronic stability control system (ESC) uses a steering angle sensor, a yaw sensor and a lateral G sensor in addition to the ABS wheel speed sensors. The system takes the information from these sensors and decides how and when it should intervene. “Stability control is a path maintenance system,” says Heuschele. “It tries to maintain the path it thinks the driver wants to take.” So he encourages drivers to be more mindful of the vehicle controls. If the vehicle starts to slide, he cautions, don’t immediately counter-steer in the opposite direction at full steering lock. Extreme and abrupt maneuvers like that will make the system think you want to turn the vehicle in the opposite direction. The result? It will take ESC longer to make the right corrections. He says the best course of action is to tone down your steering wheel inputs and straighten the wheel. The intervention from the system will be much more subtle. And the same goes for traction control. Be smooth with the throttle application. “If you fight the system, if you plant your right foot on the floor, it’s going to shut you down really hard.” And that means it will take longer to make forward progress.

Clear Your Car

The most useful safety advice for winter driving is the one too many people ignore—clean the snow off the roof of your car. There’s nothing more infuriating after a snowstorm than to see someone flying down the road with a roof full of snow, locked and loaded like an icy gun, ready to cause an accident. Slabs of snow and ice could fly off the back of your car and hit the vehicles behind you. The snow could also slide forward when you hit the brakes, completely obscuring your view of what’s ahead. Driving around with snow still covering your roof or windows is illegal in some states and it’s not safe. Invest in a snow brush. It takes a little bit of work, but it’s worth it to avoid an accident or a hefty fine.

Learn to Control Understeer

How to Drive in Snow and Other Weather Conditions- Learn to Control Understeer

The three times when you’re driving at the limit of a vehicle’s capability, according to Foust, are in racing, in an emergency avoidance maneuver, and when you are driving on a low-grip surface like snow and ice. So learning how to control a vehicle when it steps past the limits of adhesion is key. Of course in newer cars, the stability control system will attempt to correct a skid. But in the slickest conditions, it can’t do all the work. When the front tires break traction and begin to slide first, it’s called understeer. Faust says this the most common type of skid, caused by entering a corner too quickly and at the same time, turning the tires too sharply. “First you need to put load back onto the front tires,” says Foust. So he suggests slowly releasing pressure on the throttle, straightening the steering wheel, and waiting (very briefly) for the tires to regain traction. Then be sure to look where you want to end up and point the front tires in that direction.

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