Here’s A Refresher Course On How To Drive In The Wyoming Snow
It happens at some point every year, the snow will start to fly and eventually you'll have to go out and drive on the roads. Since the first snow of the year is coming, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a refresher course on how to handle your vehicle.
Since the last time is snowed, there have been teenagers get their licenses, folks have moved into the state from warm climates that haven't ever experienced Wyoming winters and some people just plain forget how to drive in the snow (for some people is takes a couple times driving in the snow to remember). Car and Driver have a great list of 12 tips for you remember before getting on the streets in snow.
These are the 5 most important of the 12 tips that can help you with your winter driving.
1. Drive Super Smoothly - smooth motions on the brakes, accelerator and steering wheel are key to good control and movements in the snow. C and D recommends pretending there is a hot cup of coffee in your lap, drive so you won't spill it.
2. Look far ahead - the slippier it gets, the further down the road you should look and be planning ahead. If you know you have a turn soon slow way down with plenty of time. Remember that stopping times will be longer in the snow/ice.
3. Watch your cars flashing dash lights - in most of the modern cars, there is a light the looks like a car with squiggly lines behind it. This light warns you that your driving wheels are (front wheels of front wheel drive and back wheels of rear wheel drive) are starting to slip and you should lay off the accelerator.
4. Look where you want to go - If you start to skid, look to the direction you want to be going, not the way you're going. The majority of the time, you're going to end up where you're looking.
5. Deal with the skids - Letting off the accelerator is a major factor of slowing your skidding. If you're in a front wheel drive car, letting off the accelerator should help you regain traction and then steer where you want to go. In a rear wheel drive, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid and let off the accelerator. Never slam on the brakes.
An engineer at Engineering Explained YouTube channel has explained driving in snow and ice with a scientific angle. It's really interesting to hear the actual reasoning and exact numbers you need to be aware of to be safe behind the wheel.
Jason Fenske is the Engineer explaining how your tires grip works with g-force. On dry road, there is about 1 G-force of grip around your tire and as the conditions change, so does the g-force.
Jason also breaks down the oh so important "Stopping Distance". Obviously your car doesn't stop the same when the pavement is wet or snow and ice covered as it does when it's dry.
He also describes how cornering changes during the different road conditions too.
It's really important for your safety and the safety of your family and others around you that you pay attention. Here is the full video of Jason's explanations of each of these factors.