For those with little experience living in the coldest parts of the country, driving in the snow can be a daunting prospect. Car tires are excellent at dealing with solid and wet surfaces, but often struggle in snow and ice. You have probably heard a few horror stories about driving in the snow or seen a few videos in which drivers lose control of their cars completely. While it is possible to drive safely in the snow without preparation in places where local municipal agencies promptly plow and salt roadways, many parts of the country lack the resources to effectively tackle snow and ice. This is why you need tire chains or socks on your vehicle. Tire chains and socks dramatically increase grip, easing your travel significantly.
Practice in a Safe Place
Think back to when you were just learning to drive. You probably didn’t drive straight to the the high way for a four hour drive. You probably went to an area with relatively little traffic before progressing to more difficult drives. If you are uncomfortable driving in snow, find a relatively flat, unpopulated area that you can practice in. Practicing can help you to understand how your vehicle responds to turns and stops. It can also help give you a realistic idea of what your vehicle is capable of.
Get Chains for Your Vehicle
Car tire chains work by dramatically increasing the traction of your tires when driving over snow and ice. While the safest course of action during a serious snow storm is always to stay at home, those who have no choice should at least equip their cars with chains. You should only use tire chains when snow is accumulated on the ground, since chains can damage pavement and other road materials.
Keep Your Phone and Battery Charged
Winter car preparation doesn’t just involve your tires. Make sure that your phone and car battery are both charged. Breaking down in winter weather is more likely than it is in warm weather, since tires can easily become stuck in snowbanks and engines occasionally struggle with extreme cold. Your safety should always be your first concern when driving. Having a working phone and battery can allow you to keep warm while you call for roadside assistance.
Try Snow Socks
Snow socks are a good alternative to tire chains. If you already have snow chains and are wondering why you should try snow socks over tire chains, snow socks do not cause your car to vibrate like tire chains do. Socks are also easier on tires and pavement and simpler to install and store than chains are.
If you are worried about how your car will perform this winter, know that there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself safe and your car functioning. While getting accustomed to driving in snow is helpful for your own confidence, maintaining your vehicle and using chains or snow socks for tires can make a dramatic difference in your vehicle’s performance. Remember, however well you have prepared for the snow, other drivers may not have planned ahead. Always take care when driving in inclement weather.