A you prepared for driving a van in snow?
Imagine the situation you are out in your nice new van supplied by Crusader Vehicles. Then all of a sudden, the sky grows dark and snow falls. It is not the most ideal situation to be in your van. But as I know from my own experience it is something that happens to most of us. But what is the best course of action when dealing with snow on the roads. The RCA have published a list of the best cause of action in dealing with snowy condonations. With reports of snow and cold icy conditions on the weather channels there is no better time than now to re-familiarise ourselves with these tips for driving a van in snow.
Top tips for driving your van in the snow from the RCA:
- When driving a van in snow make sure you are wearing dry and comfortable footwear. It is a good idea to keep a spare pair of shoes in your van for conditions like these. Meaning you will always have dry comfortable piece of footwear to slip on.
- When accelerating, do so gently. Keep your rev count low and change up to higher gear a quickly as possible.
- When starting off in an non automatic van move off in second gear. This helps reduce wheel slip. If your van offers a winter mode, this will do the same job. Make sure you select this when starting off as it will reduce the risk of wheel slip. To check if your van winter mode please check the handbook supplied with your van.
- When driving your van in the snow, before you approach a make sure that you brake before you start to turn the steering wheel. Under no circumstances tailgate. Breaking distances should be left over 10 times the recommended standard gap.
- When you are dealing with an uphill climb in your van. Make sure that you leave plenty of room in front. This allows for you to maintain a constant speed without the need for gear changes.
- When descending make sure that you are in a low gear and avoid breaking unless it is necessary. Make sure that during your decent in your van that you leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front.
- When driving a van in snow in your van before you approach a bend make sure that brake, before you start to turn your van’s steering wheel. If while you are cornering your van losses grip. Remain calm and do not panic. If this happens, it is key to take your foot off the accelerator and make sure that your wheels are in line with the direction that you are wanting to go in.
- While driving if you do enter skid. Remain calm and steer gently into it. So if your van was starting to slide to the left, make sure that you steer to the left. During the skid do not stamp on the brakes or remove your hands off the steering wheel.
- When in your van in heavy snow do not rely on daytime running lights. These lights will not be enough to keep you visible. Drive with your dipped headlights turned on. Daytime running lights often do not turn lights on the rear of your van. Just remember the old time advice if your wipers are on put your lights on.
- During a heavy snow fall when visibility drops below 100 meters it time turn on your fog lights on. As soon as the visibility improves remember to turn off your van’s fog lights.
- When driving a van in the snow and you are on a non-gritted road, be cautious of driving in the wheel tracks of other road users. The snow will be compressed and will more than likely to be icy then that of fresh snow.
- When operating controls in your van such as brakes, steering, the accelerator and even shifting gear you should do these as slowly and smoothly as possible.
- If possible, change your tyres to winter specific versions, as these offer more grip over the standard tyres that come with your van. Also, in heavy snow the application of snow chains or snow socks are advised but only do so when no damage will occur to the road.
- If you have a pair of Sunglasses (or Ski goggles), wear them after the storm as this will help reduce the glare on the snow caused by the low winter sun.
- Try to keep below the speed limits and always allow for more time to stop and steer.
- Finally, think about where you are driving to and the environment that you will find there. Think about any microclimates that you may come across. Areas where the sun has not yet reached (or will reach), such as low bridges, country lanes with over hanging trees which will need require extra caution. These areas are normally the first to freeze and the last to thaw. Also, be prepared for black ice on the roads.
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