Extreme driving; ice or snow

When we are about to make a route by car through an area where we can find extreme temperatures, for example with frost forming plates of ice or snow on the road, we must take into account a series of precautions that can prevent accidents.

Firstly, and although it seems obvious, we have to consult the climatic conditions of the area, as well as the state of the road to know what we are going to face, so that we can prepare ourselves more efficiently. If we are going to encounter a temperature below 4ºC, it is likely that ice sheets will also form, which is a high risk, especially for drivers who are not used to it.

In these cases, both we and our car must be perfectly equipped. An important aspect is the fuel, refuelling frequently and having a full tank will give the car stability. Very important is also the use of chains, which we have to learn to put on perfectly. On the other hand, it is a good idea to have the vehicle completely checked before starting it up, as it will need full autonomy to drive in these conditions.

Some of the considerations to keep in mind while driving are the following:

  • We must avoid sudden braking, the pedal must be pressed slowly. If you have an ABS system, you must press the brake pedal fully down and, if you have lost control of the car, try to regain it using the steering wheel, without using either the brake or the accelerator.
  • Try to drive in the area of the road where there is virgin snow, thus avoiding driving through the marks left by other vehicles.
  • Increase the safety distance from other vehicles.
  • The chains must be used on the drive tyres and must be removed as soon as the ice or snow disappears.
  • If we find a layer of snow of considerable thickness, we must not continue driving, as this could damage the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Finally, let’s not forget that it’s cold outside, so it’s a good idea to keep warm and stock up on provisions in case conditions worsen and we have to stop the vehicle and wait.