The weather has inspired me to post about driving on snow and ice. I love the snow and cold and missed it. I’m glad it is finally here. I got a chance to test out my new winter tires and I gotta say they are great on snow but not as good as I would like on ice, which means I have to be more careful and drive slower. Which is good advice for all drivers but especially the new drivers.
Today I was helping my cousin’s daughter, Taylor, practice and I noticed most of the residential roads were not plowed, which is to be expected. In residential the snow usually stays on the road until a path is made or they plow. When your driving on lower traffic roads covered with snow and it’s cold enough that the snow doesn’t melt, after it has been driven over a while it becomes thicker almost the consistency of icing sugar. So this icing sugar snow has the ability to inhibit tires from touching the road so when you stop you may slide on top and with the snow. Fun if you are tobogganing but not fun if you are driving. Sometimes this snow accumulates at the entrances to intersections. Drive slower and slow down early so you don’t slide into anything or into an intersection.
Ice on roads makes driving more challenging and risky, it’s important to take it slower, leave a larger space cushion between vehicles and be extra careful at intersections. High traffic roads and intersections ice up even more because of the constant traffic they receive. The city or town may sand the high traffic areas but after a while with lots of traffic the sand is washed away, leaving the area icy again. Slow down early and drive slower.
Sand bags in your vehicle can add weight to help your tires have added traction on icy roads, a full gas tank also helps to add weight to your vehicle. I have seen some trucks pack snow into their truck boxes for extra weight to give their tires traction.
Winter tires I believe really help with winter driving conditions on snow and ice because they were designed for cold and to give traction. Just like anything there are some fabulous winter tires and some not so great. Fabulous usually comes with a large price tag. Some new drivers cannot afford winter tires. In Alberta there is no law you must have winter tires, but your all season tires should be in good shape for winter driving. My friend Cheryl drives on all seasons all year and she is fine but she drives cautiously, carefully and slowly when needed. If you would rather have winter tires but cannot afford much, try the auto wreckers or kijiji. Sometimes auto wreckers have new tires for cheap or used tires in good shape.
Until next time, stay warm and drive safe 🙂 Lana