Winter conditions can present motorists with a considerable challenge. Freezing temperatures, poor visibility, and slippery road conditions cause a high risk of losing control of your vehicle and having an accident.
That's why when snowy weather arrives, it's essential to take proper precautions for yourself and your vehicle. Also, adopting a different approach to your driving style will help you avoid tough situations. Here are some useful tips for safely driving in snow.
First things first, your tires. Regularly check the tread for wear and replace them if necessary. In most countries, the legal limit for tread depth on tires is 1.6mm. But consider that safe driving in wet and snowy weather conditions is affected by the tread depth, the pattern design and the rubber compound of the tread of your tires. On wet or snow-covered roads braking performance will progressively decline with lower tread depths. On wet roads there is an additional increased risk of aquaplaning with fading tread depths.
Therefore, check your tires regularly, reduce your speed on wet and snowy roads and consider replacing your tires in good time. Checking that you have the correct tire pressure will also improve your car’s handling and fuel efficiency.
You should also give proper consideration to fitting your vehicle with winter tires or all-season tires. They have a dedicated tread pattern for better traction on snow and ice, and they use a unique rubber compound that stays flexible in cold, wet conditions. Tires certified with a three-peak mountain snowflake symbol on the sidewall are the ones to get.
The golden rule is that all of the controls on your vehicle – including brakes, steering, acceleration and changing gears – should be operated slowly and smoothly.