How to Handle Your Vehicle in Snowy Conditions – Warren Collision Center Explains
It’s that time of year again for Michiganders – winter weather and slick driving conditions. We’ve already had our first big snow which caused inconvenience, delays and even some collisions for drivers.
We’ve covered some winter driving tips in a previous article which you can read here:
But in this article we will discuss how to control and maneuver your vehicle if you find yourself in a slick situation. Of course with mother nature, we can’t always guarantee these techniques will rescue your vehicle from winter road conditions. But the more knowledge and driving skills you have, the better the odds will be of recovering from these snowy driving scenarios.
Driving on Hilly Roads
When the roads are covered in snow, driving on a flat surface can be challenging enough. But what if the only way to reach your destination is to travel uphill or downhill?
Do not slam on the brakes as this will prevent the wheels from moving which may cause your vehicle to slide. Instead tap the breaks gently. Remember to keep everything as smooth as possible. Take your foot off the gas, slowly turn your wheel into any slides and don’t overcorrect.
Try to keep your speed up high enough for momentum but low enough to control the vehicle. Also traction control systems can prevent power from coming from the engine. So in certain wintery situations, it may help to temporarily disable traction control to allow for more momentum. Review your owner’s manual to learn how to turn this system on and off.
Get Your Vehicle Unstuck From Snow
If you live in Michigan, you will probably find yourself stuck in the snow at one point or another.
The first thing you will want to do is clear the snow from around the vehicle. Make a habit of carrying a small shovel with you to make this process easier. Clear as much snow as you can from around the tires, under the vehicle and be sure you clear the snow from around your exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the interior of the car.
Next, provide some traction around the wheels. You can use sand or road salt. As a last resort, you can place your floor mats under the tires, but keep in mind, they will be pretty damaged afterwards. If the car is front wheel drive, place the mats directly in front of the front tires. If the vehicle is rear wheel drive, you will need to add traction behind the rear tires.
Once you have added traction, straighten the wheels and begin to accelerate. Do not over accelerate and spin the wheels as this will just melt the snow into ice, creating less traction. Instead try shifting the vehicle skillfully from drive to reverse to slowly rock the car and remove your tires from the rut.
Correct a Slide From Slipping on Snow or Ice
Getting stuck in the snow definitely isn’t fun, but sliding on a patch of ice while heading toward an intersection can be absolutely terrifying. The most important thing to do is stay calm. Panicking can cause you to overcorrect the wheel and lose complete control.
Also, if you are driving in snowy conditions, you should already be driving slower than normal. The higher the speed of the vehicle, the more likely you will find yourself sliding, and the more difficult it will be to correct the slide.
If you find yourself sliding it’s probably instinctual to press down on the brakes as if your life depends on it, but this will only make the slide worse. Instead, slowly turn your front wheel in the same direction that the rear of the vehicle is sliding.
Be prepared for the vehicle to start sliding in the opposite direction as you are correcting. Simply keep repeating the process by turning into the slide. As the car straightens out, you can start straightening the steering wheel.
Help! I Need to Find a Warren Collision Center.
Have you been involved in a auto accident as a result of Michigan’s harsh weather conditions? Contact a collision shop in Warren that you can rely on.
For over 29 years, vehicle owners have trusted Pole Position Auto Body with their collision repairs. We have a proven track record of producing high quality repairs – almost 3 days quicker than the average repair facility.