It’s no secret that snowy road conditions can be difficult to navigate for both inexperienced and experienced drivers alike. It’s important to know how to handle a loss of traction because you’re likely to experience it at least once during the winter season. A loss of traction can occur while driving over icy patches or if your car gets stuck in deep snow. This article will discuss what to do in each situation so you’ll be ready for it.
If you live in an area that sees its fair share of snow you may consider buying winter tires. However, this can be very expensive. All-season tires can stay on your car as long as they have at least 6/32-inch treads on all tires. This is the minimum ideal tread for maintaining traction in the snow.
Loss of Traction While Driving
The smallest change can cause your car to skid, particularly sudden changes in speed or direction. Ensure that accelerating and decelerating are gradual and give yourself plenty of space to come to a full stop, as this takes longer in the snow. Maintain a slow, steady speed when turning and turn the steering wheel gently, without making sudden, jerky movements. Do not brake while you turn; make sure your speed is decelerated before the turn.
If you do begin to skid, the instinctual reaction is to slam on the brakes. Do not do this! It will only make things worse. Familiarize yourself with this process in advance so your knowledge has the time to react before your instincts. Ease your foot off of both the gas and brake and point your wheels in the direction you want your car to travel. As soon as you feel the correction taking effect, unwind your steering correction to avoid skidding in the opposite direction. Gently accelerate as you unwind the correction until your car regains traction and heads in the correct direction.
If your wheels start to spin uncontrollably, gently lift your foot off of both pedals until the wheels are able to gain grip on the road. Then resume a gentle acceleration.
Loss of Traction While Parked
If your car is parked during a snowfall, snow can build up around your tires, making it hard to find traction when you try to leave. For this reason, you should keep kitty litter, sand or salt in your trunk, along with a tow rope. Sprinkle the gritty item of your choice around your tires to help with traction.
If that doesn’t work, try using your car’s floor mats. Remove the floor mats and turn them rubber side up. Set them directly in front of your tires and try once more to find the traction to move forward.
If you’re really stuck, you may need to have a few friends push your car or give you a tow out of the spot with the tow rope.
Protect your car during wintertime and all throughout the year. Call AccuRate Insurance Agency at (314) 429-4430 for more information on Missouri SR22 insurance.