Driving in winter
Fresh snow, slush, ice: Even if winter tyres guarantee grip and traction, you must adapt your driving style to the road conditions. Here are a few basic tips to reduce the risk of uncontrolled skids.
On the same topic
Be aware of your limits
A good driver is not one who can regain control of his car, but one who avoids losing contact with the road. Therefore in winter, the first rule is to reduce your speed.
On slippery roads, sudden braking will inevitably cause the driver to lose control of his vehicle. To avoid finding yourself in this situation, maintain a safe distance when following another car and avoid sudden steering changes.
Go easy on the accelerator!
Another rule: Accelerate gradually to prevent the drive wheels from slipping. If you feel that you are losing grip, shift up a gear. The force applied to the wheels will immediately drop and you will recover grip. The same is true on steep slopes.
Lightness and ease when cornering
Again, anticipation is the key. Slow down when approaching the corner while the road is still straight. Take the corner at a reduced speed by gently turning the steering wheel.Gradually accelerate out of the corner, with no sudden jerks.
What to do if you lose grip?
If despite these precautions your car starts to slide, you still have a chance to regain control. Under one condition:
Never take your eyes of the road. Indeed, if you set your eyes on an obstacle, then you will probably hit it …
> Front-wheel drive vehicle
- If the loss of control is caused by sudden braking, then release the brake pedal.
- If the front wheels have lost contact with the road, slightly release the accelerator and press the clutch pedal to transfer more weight to the front axle.
- Once control has been regained, adopt a more suitable driving style!
> Rear wheel drive vehicles
- If the skid is caused by sudden braking, then completely release the brake pedal.
- If the rear wheels lose their grip, then play with the accelerator and the clutch to recover it.
- To regain control of your vehicle, slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go.
- Once you have regained control, drive at a more reasonable speed!
Without of without slip control?
More and more vehicles are equipped with an automatic slip control system (ASR).
When accelerating, it reduces the torque applied to the wheel that is starting to slip to apply it to the other wheel. As such, pulling away on snow and ice is much easier. However, sometimes the wheel that was the drive wheel also loses grip. The ASR then reduces the engine power until the wheels recover their grip. On extremely slippery roads, the slip limit may be so low that there is not enough engine torque for the vehicle to pull away. The only way out is to disengage the ASR.
Articles in the same header
- Can you get away with only fitting winter tyres at the front ?
- Nordic, alpine, studded, all-season: choose the right tyres for winter
- Regulations for the use of winter tyres, snow chains and studded tyres in Europe
- Choosing your snow chains
- What are the differences between a winter tyre and a summer tyre?
- Snow tyre, winter tyre, studded tyre, chains: All car equipment to handle snow and cold weather
- ABS, ESP, ASR: Do driving aids help on snow?
- What is an all season tyre worth in winter?
- Are M+S tyres winter tyres?
- Snow tyres or winter tyres?