Losing control of the car and skidding in all directions is certainly not the best thing that can happen while driving.
Since weather conditions greatly affect our road safety, we should be aware of the weather conditions and do everything we can to decrease the possibility of an accident.
Preparation for the winter months
- Make sure that your tires are appropriate for the climate of the area you live in and in good condition.
- Make sure that the battery of your car is adequately charged (a mechanic can check it), since the requirements of your engine are greater in low temperatures.
- Make sure that you have the proper chains for your tires in the car.
- Regularly measure your tire pressure and have in mind that it falls as the temperature falls. Never reduce the pressure in your tires to try to achieve better braking on snow, ice or mud.
- Make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition and that there is enough anti-freeze for the windshield.
- Make sure that your car's radiator contains an adequate quantity of anti-freeze.
Driving advice during snow fall
- Choose to drive when it is snowing only if absolutely necessary. If it is not, prefer to stay at home, avoiding any unnecessary and potentially dangerous journeys.
- If you do drive when it is snowing, pay attention to the road signs that inform you, through electronic messages, about the condition of the road surface and any problems ahead of you.
- Turn on the car's fog lamps to ensure good visibility and to allow others see you.
- Reduce speed. Speed is the number one factor contributing to accidents under such conditions. The anti-lock and anti-spin systems will not help you if you are traveling at high speed.
- Be alert. It is not enough to look straight ahead. You must be alert for potential patches of ice and double the safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Do not apply the brakes suddenly, do not accelerate suddenly and do not turn suddenly. You should be making very slow and gentle manoeuvres.
- If you need to slow down, try doing so gradually by changing down through the gears (from 4th to 3rd to 2nd etc.).
- If you absolutely must apply the brakes, apply pressure to the brake pedal very gently and gradually. If you feel your vehicle starting to skid, release the accelerator and the brakes and put the car into neutral. If the rear wheels are skidding, turn the steering wheel gently in the direction you want to go. If front wheels are skidding, avoid turning the steering wheel until the vehicle speed has reduced sufficiently and the vehicle has re-acquired traction on the ground.
- Put snow chains on your vehicle when necessary.