Winter is coming and that means one thing: Christmas! you may be planning a trip home for Christmas this year, in the middle of a pandemic that looks a little difficult. The thing is, it’s not just the pandemic that you have to contend with on your jaunt back home for the festivities. You have to think about the coming frost and snow and that’s something you don’t want to mess around with. With the weather getting colder and the snow threatening on the weather reports, you want to ensure that you are perfectly prepared to beat the snow and ice and not get caught up in it and stranded.
If you are fortunate to live in the countries in the Northern Hemisphere, you know what it’s like to live with the colder seasons. You know what it’s like to have sweeping white winters and blizzards that last for weeks. You also know that you have to drive home through all of that cold and blustery weather. It’s hard to do if you’re not prepared for it, but if you choose to drive home for Christmas, you need to get ready. Safe driving is a must all year round if you want to avoid an accident, but in the snowy months, it’s even more important that you drive safely now. We’ve put together some tips you really need to get home for Christmas intact and safe!
Worried? Don’t Go
What are the weather reports saying? If they are talking about the snow enough to make you worry, you shouldn’t get on the road. You should never begin a journey worrying about the roads you’re driving on. If you are in any doubt about it, don’t go because there is nothing worth risking skidding and rolling. Christmas is lovely, but you can always have a perfect remake later on instead of risking your neck to get home for gifts and stuffing. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it would be far less wonderful if you were in an accident on the way home.
If you absolutely must drive home, then you need to be confident in your ability to control the car. Driving slowly is a must, and being arrogant in your driving is going to cause an accident. Adverse weather conditions require more time and you have to give yourself that time to get where you need to be in one piece. You already know that driving slowly is going to help you to stay safe on the road, but plan more than one route so that you can get where you want to be without being the quickest on the road!
Pay Attention To Braking Distances
Did you know that the advice is to increase your braking distances when you drive in the snow? You need to give yourself more time to get to destinations, but you need to have more time to break if there is a skid somewhere. You need to show other road users that you have their safety in mind as well as your own.
The idea for driving through the snow is to continue moving through it. You may get going, but you want to stay going as much as possible. Even if you have to crawl slowly through traffic, you need to keep the car going forward. You want to keep going so that you can not panic about starting up all over again. You want to get to your destination, you don’t want to be stranded in a snowstorm.
Clear The Car Before You Go
If you want to avoid crashing on the road, you need to be able to see out of the windows. Having a good de-icer in the car with a scraper will help you to clean down your car before you get into it. You want to give yourself plenty of time to de-ice the screen and the mirrors before you go so that you’re not caught out while you drive.
Test Those Brakes
Before you even get on the road, get your brakes tested by a mechanic. You need to maintain good pressure on your brakes all of the time in the snow, and keeping control of the brakes is vital. If you have the brakes tested, you won’t have any surprises on the road when they stop working and you end up in a bad situation. Ideally, you won’t have to brake suddenly at all, but you can never tell what will be needed in the moment so it’s better to be prepared.
Stick To Classic Advice
The best piece of classic advice that you will be told when you learn to drive is to steer into a skid. It’s a good piece of advice to stick to, so if the rear of the wheel is skidding to the right, steer toward the right. Make sure that you don’t suddenly brake as that can cause you to flip over. Don’t steer the opposite way in the snow, either, as you will skid and the car will lose control. You want to remain in control at all times.
High Gears Mean Low Fears
Slow driving in high gear will be the best option for you. The higher gear allows you to increase the grip that the car has on the road while avoiding the spinning of the wheels at the same time. Drive in the highest gear possible while you’re on slippery surfaces as you’re going to maintain better control at the same time.
A full tank is ideal, but a half tank or more will make sure that when you head off into the snow. You’ll keep yourself going and you’ll prevent your fuel line from freezing along the way. The last thing that you want is to deal with being stuck in the snow!
Pack Emergency Bags
Charging your phone, packing your car charger, and stocking up on blankets, torches, and snacks is important! You should also keep an old battery-powered phone in the car with a full charge, too. An emergency kit will help if you’ve broken down.