Tips for Driving in the Snow & Ice
As the Metro Vancouver receives another dumping of snow, we are reminded of the importance of preparing ourselves for icy conditions. As the snowfall warning shows no sign of stopping in the following days, Cowell Auto Group reminds you that driving in the snow doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are our winter driving safety tips to help keep you and your community safer on the roads.
Take your time
- Give plenty of space between your vehicle and other cars, remember that everyone is in the same situation
- Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, so when the roads are snowy and icy it is best to drive a little slower, and give yourself extra time to get around
- Accelerating too quickly can cause your car to skid, so gently apply the gas. Stopping will also take longer than usual, so give yourself adequate space to slow down
Understand road conditions and how to correct
- Hydroplaning happens when the tires lose contact with the road due to a barrier of water. If you begin to skid, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to travel. Don’t use the gas until you’re traveling in the right direction. Try not to overcompensate by steering too hard in the wrong direction.
- Black ice is commonly found on roads with shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections where car exhaust and packed snow freeze quickly. If you drive over black ice and start to skid, ease off the accelerator, and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Don’t brake—this will make the situation worse.
Know your car
- Do you have ABS brakes? Anti-lock brakes allow you to put firm and constant pressure on the brakes if you need to stop quickly. It is normal to feel the pedal vibrate in this case. If your car doesn’t have ABS brakes, gently pump the brake pedal repeatedly. If you’re about to hit something, take your foot off the brake and try to steer around the object without using any gas.
- Be ready for anything – equip your vehicle with winter driving essentials. Keep spare blankets, water, food, a spare tire, and a phone charger in your car at all times, in case of roadside emergencies
- Visibility is important, make sure your headlights, wipers and windshields are in top shape and your vehicle is serviced regularly
Follow these tips and keep your car well-maintained by visiting Cowell Volkswagen’s service department. You can trust our service technicians to get your car in best working condition and prepared for the road conditions, year-round.