Winter road conditions can be tough to navigate for any driver, whether experienced or not. In colder climates, it’s likely that you’ll experience a loss of traction at some point during the harsh winter months and it’s important to familiarize yourself with these situations before you find yourself in one. Let’s look at how to recover from a loss of tire traction while driving and while parked.
Loss of Tire Traction While Driving
Your car can start to skid due to the smallest change, especially when it comes to sudden changes in speed or direction. Accelerate and decelerate gradually, giving yourself a lot of space between you and the car ahead to come to a full stop. When turning, decelerate in advance so you don’t need to brake as you turn. Let your car coast and turn your steering wheel gently. The more slow and steady you handle your car, the less likely you’ll be to lose traction.
If you begin to skid, avoid the instinct to slam on the brakes. It will only make matters worse. Rather, ease your foot off of both pedals and turn your wheels in the direction you want your car to travel. Once you feel the correction, steadily unwind your steering wheel to avoid skidding in the opposite direction. Once your tires are able to grip the road, you’ll resume traveling in the correct direction.
If you’re still traveling in the correct direction but your wheels start to spin, lift your foot off of both pedals and hold the steering wheel steady until the tires are able to grip the road. Resume a gentle acceleration.
Loss of Tire Traction While Parked
Parked cars are at risk of snow building up around the tires, making it difficult to gain enough traction to leave the parking spot. In preparation, keep kitty litter, salt or sand in your trunk, along with a shovel and tow rope. If you get stuck, shovel the snow away from your tires and then sprinkle the gritty substance of your choice in front of your drive tires (whether front wheel drive or rear wheel drive).
You may be able to gain traction faster by using your car’s floor mats. Set the floor mats rubber side up directly in front of your drive tires and try to accelerate. Sometimes it helps to put your body weight over the drive tires to help them connect with the ground.
You may find yourself in a situation in which you’re too stuck to move on you own. In such cases, you can ask a few friends to push your car or, if anyone you know has a big truck, give you a tow out of the spot with the tow rope from your trunk.
Stay road safe during winter and throughout the rest of the year. Call Lancette Agency at (651) 264-1230 for more information on Minneapolis auto insurance.