Snow is on the way! Your tips for mountain driving
Meteorologists are saying we are going to get some rain this winter, with the arrival of El Nino. This means more of you will be visiting the mountains to enjoy some snow! The mountains in California are beautiful, but we give our customers a few safety tips for those trips to the timber line.
Tips for winter driving
Before you go:
- When snow is in the forecast, bring tire chains. If chains become necessary or required, be sure to find an appropriate turn out so you are safely out of the flow of traffic. Be sure your chains are installed on the “drive” tires that move your car. Some cars are front wheel drive, while others use the rear wheels.
- Make sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated.
- Be sure your headlights are working and only use low beams in a snow storm. High beams will make it harder to see through falling snow.
- Make sure the glass in your car is in good repair. Cracks can cause windows to fog more easily and make it harder to see the road. If you’re not sure you have a problem, call an auto glass repair specialist for advice.
- Be sure to pack emergency supplies, in case you get stuck in the snow. Food, water, warm clothing and a snow phone will come in handy.
- Visit the website of the California Department of Transportation to research the driving tips you might expect to encounter and plan accordingly.
On the road:
- Even when the roads are in the sun and seem dry, keep an eye out for ice that remains where shadows cover the road. These slick patches can easily catch you off guard.
- Drive defensively. Watch the drivers around you to make sure they remain in control. Always keep a distance of three car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
- Do NOT break heavily when driving on snow and ice. Pump your brakes lightly, giving yourself plenty of time to slow down. Use your gears to keep your speeds at a safe speed. Avoid quick changes in speed or direction.
- In the case you should go into a skid, there are some important things to remember. If your car is a front wheel drive, as you begin to slide, do not break. Slowly remove your foot from the gas until your wheels regain traction. When your tires regain traction, turn the steering wheel slowly in the direction you want to go. If your car is a rear wheel drive, remove your foot from the gas when your wheels starts to spin, and slowly turn the wheel in the direction you want to go. If you continue to skid, steer the opposite direction until the car points in the correct direction. No matter what, do not apply heavy pressure to the breaks.
We hope this helps. Enjoy your winter and keep safe!
And if you catch any gravel on those mountain roads, be sure to call Windshield Squad as soon as you get home. We can repair those rock chips in just a few minutes.