Driving on Snow or Ice

Most of the time, those places where the tires meet the road probably have good traction.

However, if there is snow or ice between the tires and the road, you can have a very slippery situation. You will have a lot less traction, or grip, and will need to be very careful.

What is the worst time for this? Wet ice. Very cold

What is the worst time for this? Wet ice. Very cold snow or ice can be slick and hard to drive on.

But wet ice can be even more trouble because it may offer the least traction of all. You can get wet ice when it is about freezing, 32°F (0°C), and freezing rain begins to fall. Try to avoid driving on wet ice until salt and sand crews can get there.

Whatever the condition — smooth ice, packed, blowing, or loose snow — drive with caution.

Accelerate gently. Try not to break the fragile traction. If you accelerate too fast, the drive wheels will spin and polish the surface under the tires even more.

The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) improves your vehicle’s stability when you make a hard stop on a slippery road. Even though you have ABS, you will want to begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. See Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS).

• Allow greater following distance on any slippery road.
• Watch for slippery spots. The road might be fine until you hit a spot that is covered with ice.

On an otherwise clear road, ice patches may appear in shaded areas where the sun cannot reach, such as around clumps of trees, behind buildings, or under bridges. Sometimes the surface of a curve or an overpass may remain icy when the surrounding roads are clear. If you see a patch of ice ahead of you, brake before you are on it. Try not to brake while you are actually on the ice, and avoid sudden steering maneuvers.

If You Are Caught in a Blizzard

If you are stopped by heavy snow, you could be in a serious situation. You should probably stay with your vehicle unless you know for sure that you are near help and you can hike through the snow. Here are some things to do to summon help and keep yourself and your passengers safe:

• Turn on your hazard flashers.
• Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert police that you have been stopped by the snow.
• Put on extra clothing or wrap a blanket around you. If you do not have blankets or extra clothing, make body insulators from newspapers, burlap bags, rags, floor mats — anything you can wrap around yourself or tuck under your clothing to keep warm.

You can run the engine to keep warm, but be

You can run the engine to keep warm, but be careful.

CAUTION:
Snow can trap exhaust gases under your vehicle. This can cause deadly CO (carbon monoxide) gas to get inside. CO could overcome you and kill you. You cannot see it or smell it, so you might not know it is in your vehicle. Clear away snow from around the base of your vehicle, especially any that is blocking your exhaust pipe. And check around again from time to time to be sure snow does not collect there.
Open a window just a little on the side of the vehicle that is away from the wind.

This will help keep CO out.

Run your engine only as long as you must.

This saves fuel. When you run the engine, make it go a little faster than just idle. That is, push the accelerator slightly. This uses less fuel for the heat that you get and it keeps the battery charged.

You will need a well-charged battery to restart the vehicle, and possibly for signaling later on with your headlamps. Let the heater run for a while.

Then, shut the engine off and close the window almost all the way to preserve the heat. Start the engine again and repeat this only when you feel really uncomfortable from the cold. But do it as little as possible. Preserve the fuel as long as you can. To help keep warm, you can get out of the vehicle and do some fairly vigorous exercises every half hour or so until help comes.

    See also:

    Wheel Alignment and Tire Balance
    The tires and wheels on your vehicle were aligned and balanced carefully at the factory to give you the longest tire life and best overall performance. Adjustments to wheel alignment and tire bal ...

    Glove Box
    The glove box is located on the passenger side of the instrument panel. Lift up on the lever to open it. ...

    Flash-to-Pass
    To flash the high beams, pull the turn signal/lane change lever toward you, and release. ...