Top Ten Tips for Driving in the Snow
1. If you don’t have to drive, don’t! Leave the driving in the snow up to someone else who has more experience, take a taxi or airport transfer.
2. If you really have to drive, always carry chains while driving in the Alps. Get used to putting them on before you have to, as it will be cold, wet and often dark when you need them! Its also recommended to carry a torch and shovel too.
3. Let a small amount of air out of tyres as this means better grip. Fill up your screen wash with a specially designed wash that doesn’t freeze until much lower temperatures. Try to avoid using the screen wash if really cold as this could freeze when driving and obstruct your view.
4. Should your car be covered in snow before you start, make sure you clear all the snow off before setting off, including mirrors and in front of lights. The snow can suddenly fall from your roof into the path of an oncoming car when turning, or cover your windscreen when braking. Also ensure wipers are not frozen to the screen.
5. If you are stuck in the snow, dig all the snow away from the tyres and under the front of the car. Often a square of carpet put under the drive wheels will help the car get traction.
6. Set off in second gear, as this will keep the revs low and allow you to pull off slowing and avoid the wheels spinning.
7. Drive slowly and all actions should be slow and smooth including breaking, accelerating, turning, and changing gear as these all may cause the car to slide.
8. Treble your breaking distance and if possible use your engine to slow down to avoid the wheels locking up and skidding.
9. Treble the distance between your car and the car in front to allow more time to act should the car in front skid or stop suddenly.
10. Priority should always be given to cars coming up hill and if possible never stop yourself going uphill as it will be difficult to get going again.