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Driving on Snow and Ice

To stay in control of a vehicle while driving on snow and ice, the key is smooth inputs. One way to think of it is to imagine everything is happening in slow motion. Which means don't wrench the steering wheel around, and don't prod at the pedals. Every input should be slowly and evenly applied so as not to upset the balance and traction of the car. Locking the wheels and sliding is what you don't want, so when braking give yourself loads and loads of space, and gently apply the brakes well in advance of where you intend to stop. If you feel the car begin to slide, let off the brakes to get them rolling again, and then reapply the brakes with less force.

The best way to gain traction on snow or ice is to use as few revs as possible in the highest gear possible and accelerate very slowly. This has the effect of reducing the torque output and reducing the chance of wheelspin.

When going down hill choose a low gear and keep the wheels turning by letting the engine regulate the speed. If the wheels loose traction and lock up accelerate to get them rolling again to match the road speed, this will give them the traction needed to steer.

A great way to practice driving on snow and ice is to find an empty parking lot with no obstructions and get a feel for how the car reacts on slippery surfaces. It also helps you reevaluate braking distances and cornering speeds so when you find yourself in these conditions on the road you have an idea of how the car will behave.

See also:
All Tutorials
How To Check Your Oil
How To Identify Vehicle Leaks
Basic Tire Maintenance
Take 10 Years Off Your Car's Appearance
How to Perform a Heel-and-Toe Downshift
Left-Foot Braking
Driving on Snow and Ice
What is Torque?
What is a 'Monocoque'?
What are Superchargers?

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