Filomena It has brought us, in addition to freezing temperatures and a snowfall that our country did not remember, images that we will not forget and memories that will be history for the blanket of snow left in many parts of the Spanish geography, very little used to these adverse weather conditions.
Snowfall patterns aside, if we talk about driving with this storm, the story changes, due to how little used many Spanish drivers are to circulate in these conditions. For this reason, the Fundación Línea Directa has prepared some essential tips to ensure safe driving so much with snow as with ice on the road:
1. Avoid travel Unless it is a cause of force majeure, as all the authorities have recommended throughout the weekend.
2. Tires. If the correct footwear for the vehicle is not used, there is more danger of the vehicle skidding and having an accident. The use of winter tires and chains are recommended. In fact, at this time in the Community of Madrid the use of chains is mandatory throughout the main road network and on the streets of the different municipalities.
3. Placement of chains. The first thing to know is that they should be put on the drive wheels of the car (if you do not know what they are, it is in the vehicle manual).
If they are metal chains, they must be stretched to prevent them from being intertwined, then the steel cable is stretched through the back of the wheel and hooked at both ends. After this, the chain is placed and stretched around the tire on the part that touches the ground. Finally, all the tensioners at the front are hooked to fix the chains.
If they are made of fabric, you start at the top and then cover the entire surface that is not in contact with the asphalt. Next, the driver will have to move the car to cover the missing part.
4. Long marches. Driving on snow or ice means slowing down, but the really essential thing is to go in the highest gear possible so as not to lose grip when pulling. Except if you have to go down a hill; in this case you should go with the lowest gear so that the engine itself holds the car.
5. Speed. You must drive in snow or ice at less than 40 km / h and smoothly so that the wheels do not spin. In addition, to avoid losing control of the vehicle, avoid accelerating or braking abruptly.
6. Safety distance. Although it is highly unlikely to find many cars when the road is in these conditions, it is not impossible and moving away from them and maintaining a significant safety distance is key to avoiding accidents. When the asphalt is in these conditions, the reaction and braking capacity are reduced, so if you are away from other vehicles, it will help to avoid some scares.
7. Bring the lights even when it is daytime is another key that experts remember. The lights improve the visibility of the vehicle. But be careful, because sometimes these lights in contact with snowy or icy surfaces can damage the sight of other drivers and cause them to lose visibility.
8. Drive through the tracks that other cars have made it is a very smart way of driving on snow, as it will be more compacted and it will be easier and safer to drive around.
9. Prepare the trip carefully. Before getting behind the wheel in these days of snowfall and frost, check the state of the roads on which to drive, watch videos on how to put chains on the car, consult the vehicle’s instruction manual and check that the car is in perfect condition. In addition, as a preventive measure, it is advisable to refuel and fill the tank and have a ‘survival kit’ containing water, food, flashlight, rechargeable battery, and warm clothing.
10. Understeer and oversteer. In the case of losing control of the car, two things can happen and you must act in different ways: in understeer the car turns less, so you must take your foot off the accelerator to regain traction. In oversteer it turns too much, so the foot also rises but it must be accompanied by counter-steering in the opposite direction to which the car has turned.