Those who have four-wheel drive will undoubtedly experience better handling and traction while driving in snowy or icy conditions, though they still need to remain cautious.
But not having four-wheel drive isn’t a valid reason for staying off the roads in the wintertime. So getting to work or running time-sensitive errands safely means knowing how to drive in the snow.
Here we’ve provided some helpful winter driving tips for those who don’t have four-wheel drive vehicles.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it should be at the forefront of your mind every time you head out on snowy roads. When driving, push down slowly on the gas pedal, take it easy on the brakes, stop three times earlier than you normally would, and avoid hard or sudden turns. This will help reduce the chances of sliding or spinning out in slippery road conditions.
Keep a defensive mindset
The other vehicles on the road are some of the most dangerous aspects of driving in the snow. Just because you may consider yourself a good winter driver doesn’t protect you from bad winter drivers. To keep yourself safe from potentially inexperienced winter drivers, you have to drive defensively. This means keeping an extra-safe amount of space between your vehicle and other cars on the road, reducing your speed, and overall just being patient. Driving in snow means driving slower, and it’s much better to take it easy than to get into an accident.
Try to avoid stopping
Starting from a stopped position in snow or ice is much more difficult than accelerating when you’re already moving. Obviously you have to stop sometimes, but if you can roll long enough for a traffic light to change, it’ll be better than coming to a complete stop and then starting again. Stopping also increases the chances of sliding or skidding if you don’t have four-wheel drive. Steering out of the way of a car in front of you will help you avoid a collision better than trying to stop in time.
This is probably the best method for driving in the snow. Thinking ahead and anticipating situations will keep you focused on the road and getting to your destination safely. Anticipating means looking for black ice and traffic slowdowns. Ice and snow is thicker and lasts longer in shaded areas. Pay attention to bridges and overpasses, which tend to freeze quickly. If you think ahead, you have a better chance to react more quickly in the event of snowy conditions.
We will all have to drive in the snow at some point in our lives, but understanding the best way to go about it when driving a car that doesn’t have four-wheel drive capabilities will keep you safe in treacherous conditions.