For those of us who live year round on the Monterey Peninsula, snow and ice are not driving hazards we have to deal with on a regular basis. Especially this January, where it has been amazingly warm and sunny.
However, for those of us who love to visit ski country, driving safely on snow and ice helps us get back safely to our coastal climate. Here are some helpful tips on how to drive safely through ice and snow:
1. Make sure your car has been serviced and is operating well before your ski trip. Breaking down on the side of a snow covered road is NOT fun.
2. Buy snow tires or add chains to your existing tires.
3. Practice driving on snow and ice before your road trip. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with driving on icy roads, practice in a parking lot before you tackle the highways and byways.
4. Weigh your car down with sandbags directly over the rear axle if you have a rear wheel drive vehicle. These sandbags will serve as ballast and help prevent spinouts.
5. Double the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you while driving. This extra space should give you the distance you need to stop on a snowy or icy road.
6. Reduce your speed and lift your food off the gas pedal for a bit if you feel your vehicle start to slip and slide. Traction improves when you ease up on the gas.
7. Drive slowly and carefully. DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING IN ICE AND SNOW! Try not to multitask either, while driving.
8. To stop your vehicle, plan in advance and press the brake pedal slowly. Sudden braking could result in a spinout.
9. If your vehicle begins to skid, let up on the gas pedal and gently turn your wheels in the direction you want the vehicle to go. If you turn too hard, you could result in a flipped vehicle, so be very careful when correcting your vehicle out of a skid.
10. If your vehicle won’t turn or turns out too wide, ease up on the gas pedal and that should help regain traction with the road.
11. Ease up on the throttle if your vehicle begins to hydroplane. You can gently push on the gas pedal again when you feel the tires reconnect with the road.
12. Do not accelerate through turns on icy or snowy roads. If you’re turning, don’t speed up, but feather the brakes instead.
13. Avoid steep hills when possible, either going uphill or downhill. Never slow down while attempting an incline or while you are on a hill.
14. To improve your visibility, keep your windows defogged and free of moist, hot air.
Before you take your next ski trip, contact Robert’s Auto Repair for a safety inspection by calling (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 & Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!