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Snow is perhaps one of our favorite things, but driving in it can be intimidating if you’re not from an area visited frequently by Old Man Winter. Here are a few ways to stay safe while traveling in snowy conditions and keep you comfortable behind the wheel!
First, don’t panic. If you start to swerve, remain calm and turn into the swerve. This should correct your tires and get you back on track. Try not to slam on your brakes (or the accelerator!). Reacting calmly can diffuse the situation quickly to avoid accidents.
Remember that all-wheel-drive does not make you invincible. We do recommend that you have an AWD or 4WD vehicle to take in the snow for better traction. All-wheel-drive makes your car better at accelerating on slick surfaces. However, it won’t allow you to stop on a dime! The roads can be slick! You still need to slow down and pay attention in bad weather. To quote our friends at Popular Mechanics, snow banks are not puffy and cushiony! Losing control and hitting one can seriously damage a vehicle. Slow down.
Snow tires are wonderful. You’ll notice a lot of locals in the mountains adding snow tires to their cars to get around more easily in the snow. If this is an option for you, we highly recommend it. Snow tires don’t miraculously teach you to drive in snow drifts, but they do offer the benefit of better traction and handling. This also extends the life of your summer tires!
To avoid getting stuck, try not to stop going uphill. Keep your tires in the areas that have been plowed, or carved out by other cars. Keep your pace slow any steady!
Be prepared. Keep a small shovel, an old blanket, and a pair of snow boots in your car. You might have to get out and use these things, and impractical footwear can really put a damper on your day. An old blanket can warm you if your car breaks down, or you can lay it under your tire to help you gain traction when you need to get out of a rut.
Now, get out there and enjoy your ski vacation!