Once you have gone through driving school, you may be very excited about finally being allowed to drive. However, you should always keep in mind that even though you have taken driving lessons in Malden, there are some aspects of driving that you will need to learn through experience. An example of this is driving during winter.
During this season, you may encounter hazards such as slippery roads, the presence of too much ice on the road and poor visibility. To keep yourself and other motorists safe, it would be wise to understand some of the technical issues you should keep in mind when driving. Some of the tips that will go a long way in helping you achieve this include:
Accelerate and decelerate gently
During winter, chances are that the road surface will have less grip, either due to the presence of snow, ice or water. A dangerous mistake when driving on such a surface is being too aggressive when braking or accelerating. In such cases, the vehicle is likely to skid, and you are likely to lose control of the car. You should therefore accelerate or decelerate slowly in order to keep control of the car.
When driving on a surface that provides little grip, driving too fast will be detrimental to your safety. If you have to make an emergency stop, the car will definitely skid off the road, and you may sustain injuries or even lose your life. If it has rained, puddles of water on the road might result in a phenomenon known as aquaplaning.
This basically means that the water will form a film between the tires and the road surface, and most of the grip will be lost. Once this happens, the car will skid suddenly and you may be unable to regain control of the car. Driving slowly drastically reduces the chances of this happening. It also ensures that braking will be safer, since the car will have little momentum.
Avoid using cruise control
The majority of cars these days have cruise control, which allows the car to maintain a set speed without you having to keep your foot on the accelerator. It has been shown that activating cruise control when driving during the winter on road surfaces that do not have enough grip could result in an accident.
For instance, when the cruise control system detects a car in front of you, it could activate the brakes in such a manner that the car will end up skidding. Most older cruise control systems do not have a feature that allows the car to start braking slowly from a far distance, so that by the time you get close to the car you will be moving slowly enough to avoid an accident.
Consider driving with a chaperone for the first few days
If you are going to drive in winter for the first time, consider having driving with someone who has experience in driving in snow for the first few trips. They can provide valuable information on car control in different scenarios and may even take over the driving if you are overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there are many new drivers who may not have access to such an individual.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated
Poor tire inflation could lead to a number of problems including difficulty in handling the car. If you are going to drive in the winter, make sure that the tires are inflated to the manufacturers specifications. This information is normally found on the side wall of each tire, so you don’t need to struggle to find this information. Besides, most reputable garages will have staff members who are familiar with your tires and how they should be inflated.
On the same note, always ensure that your tires have enough tread to provide friction. Worn out tires with a smooth surface will make braking, accelerating and even turning more difficult and dangerous.