winters driving

Travelling In Winter

Travelling during winter brings with it new kinds of issues that drivers should care about. Cars aren’t indestructible, but if we too often focus on major accidents – instead of the slow-growing ones that happen all the time – we could end up with even bigger disasters. Winter exacerbates many of these issues, so it’s worth considering what we can do and what to look out for while maintaining a vehicle in winter.

Focusing first on any long-distance travel, it’s always important to have your car examined for any damage or problems that might crop up – too often issues with vehicles are beyond our notice, due to everything being underneath the hood.Travelsense points out that this is, in fact, the most important tip of all.

“Have your car examined before you leave. This is one of the most crucial winter driving tips. It’s the climatic scene of many movies, where someone’s car breaks down in a strange town. The last thing you want to worry about is your car falling apart, leaving you stranded far away from home. Take it to your local auto shop for a quick once over, and make sure your tires are winter ready and properly inflated.

Some vehicles do better than others: For example a Mazda bakkie with a Mazda canopy will do better on cold roads than an ordinary two-wheel drive vehicle: but this doesn’t mean invisibility. As HowStuffWorks this is a common misunderstanding.

“While vehicles with four-wheel drive typically do perform better in snowy and icy driving conditions, the technology can backfire by giving drivers a false sense of safety.

“Four-wheel drive is used to send the specific amount of needed torque to each of your car’s four tires to give it added traction to move forward through snowy roads. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can race down the road at top speed in the snow and bring yourself to a quick stop. Four-wheel or all-wheel drive isn’t going to give you the traction you need to brake. It can help you get through some difficult conditions, but it doesn’t make you SuperSUV.

This false sense of security is dangerous (indeed, it’s why you should get your regularly inspected where possible since you don’t actually know what’s happening with your vehicle. You think it’s fine when it’s not – that’s another false sense of security.) What you need is an accurate portrayal of security: just how damaged or OK is my car, just how safe am I?

Weather.com also suggests altering your driving method.

“Driving too quickly is the main cause of accidents in winter conditions. Even if you’re driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you cannot safely do 80 mph during a snowstorm. Regardless of your vehicle, how you drive can prevent accidents.

They suggest avoiding sudden stops or acceleration and unnecessary changes in your ane. Moves like these can cause the car to lose traction, sending you into skids and possibly collision.

These are some ways we should try think about driving in winter, since not everything is the same as before – in better climates.

 

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