If you grew up in a city like San Antonio or Miami, it’s extremely possible that you may not be as experienced in driving in the snow as you may think you are. It’s a very different experience from being a summer driver. So, it can be a problem for you if you have to visit northern states (or even Canada), and then get a rental from an outfit like Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Here are some simple tips that you may want to keep in mind if it’s your first time to drive in the snow during the winter.
- Before you drive, clear off all the snow from your car. Clear off all the snow from the windshield, rear windows, and seat windows for maximum visibility. Scrape off the snow from the roof, so that snow doesn’t fly back and impair the visibility of the drivers behind you.
- Turn the lights on. This is an obvious thing to do for northerners, but for the kids of eternal summer, it may not be obvious at all. It’s not really about letting you see better when you drive during the day. The lights (including the taillights) are there to let other drivers see you better on the road.
- Drive slower. This is another obvious tip. Slow down, and allow a greater space between your car and the car in front of you.
- If your car has ABS, don’t pump the brakes. The anti-lock braking system will automatically engage when the car loses enough traction. So just apply constant pressure on the brakes. If you pump the brakes, the ABS won’t engage.
- Avoid cruise control. It’s very possible that your vehicle will slip on the ice, and when that happens the car will naturally slow down. But with cruise control, the car will try top maintain the speed and so go faster. That can lead to a lot of problems.
If you’re new to driving in the snow, you may actually want to avoid it whenever possible. But if you can’t, drive slow and safe—it’s better than being sorry!