Some studies indicate that a third of Spanish drivers do not know how to drive adverse weather conditions. One of them is snow. The first recommendation when a white blanket covers the road is not to use the car. As that is not always possible, it is advisable to learn how to drive with snow safely.

There are notable differences compared to driving a vehicle on dry (or even wet) pavement or snow. That is why it is vital to know the vehicle’s condition, the tires, and who travels in it. Some issues may seem minor, but all are important to move safely when you start driving in snow:

Before leaving home

Driving a vehicle when it snows is not the same as wearing snow clothes. Therefore, never go with your coat on so as not to slow down your movements inside the car or to be able to do something abruptly, something that you will have to avoid at all times.

Check the weather forecast for the route you plan to follow and possible alternatives if things get uglier than expected. Don’t forget to take your mobile phone with you in the vehicle. Charged and, if possible, also a charger that you can use in the car.

And make money because the vital point is to have a full tank of fuel. In case of being trapped in the snow, you can use the heating. Take a look at the fuel tank indicator, and don’t be lazy to stop at a service station to refuel. Out of 10, you already have all the elements that we recommended in this list, but above all, pay attention to these two:

Winter tires and chains

Many of us put the chains on the car in December and do not return to the storage room until the end of March or April. Above all, those of us who are used to visiting mountain passes. Remember that you must know how to put them (always on the drive axle). And if the bull has caught you and you have to buy them at the last minute, know well all the types of snow chains that exist.

Remember that chains are only suitable for snow. That is why it is convenient that, depending on your habits, you can consider using winter tires or all-season tires. They are not for all audiences, and those who do not leave Spanish coastal areas with their car during winter may not need them. But it would help if you remembered that the lower the asphalt temperature, the greater the risk. And if you can count on suitable “footwear” for your car, all the better.

Car ready. Remove snow

Do you have a car on the street? With which it is falling? If so, remember how to remove snow and ice from the vehicle not to damage it. Do not be lazy and think that it will disappear as the kilometers go by. It affects the behavior of the car. And do not think of doing it like this guy, even if you have a stereo with many basses.

Let’s think that you have already prepared the car for the winter, checking key elements such as steering, lights, battery, wheels, brakes (including handheld), windshield wipers, windshield washer, and heating system. You must be extremely careful at this time of year and remember, if you visit icy places with a diesel car, that diesel freezes at -15ºC.

Starting, a delicate process.

What happens if there is already snow when you start the car? It may skid, so accelerate little by little, trying not to rev the engine. If you continue to skid, use a higher gear if possible to decrease the force applied to the wheels and get off the ground. And keep the direction straight at all times.

And remember that driver assistance systems are your allies. So better to leave the ESP connected, which provides security in situations of low grip. But like everything, there are times when it may be necessary to disconnect it. Specifically two:

  • With chains on, As the wheel’s diameter increases, the system is confused when it performs its calculations and can act as if a slip occurred (reducing power and braking some wheel) when in reality, that does not happen. This does not happen with fabric chains, as the diameter of the wheel does not vary.
  • Ramps or the start of the march. In these situations, it helps that the wheels skid and dig a little until you find a grip point that allows you to start. Eye, then reconnect them.


Every time there is a storm, comments about the lack of foresight from the authorities flood bars and forums. But believe me. His work is immense. Those of us who have been driving for a few decades and traveling more often never saw a snowplow on the road, something more than usual today. Or that salt was spread on the streets, preventing snow from accumulating and creating ice sheets.

This comes to the thread that you do not have to trust yourself if there is salt on the road where you are traveling. It may have made ice and snow disappear, but they also make the road more slippery, in conjunction with the mud and water.

But let’s go back to the white cloak. The main thing is to increase the safety distance from other cars. When driving in snow, a good rule of thumb may be to allow 1 m of clearance for every km / h of speed. It seems like a lot … until you have to break. You also have to drive gently. You achieve the latter by driving at high gears, without exceeding 40 km / h, gently driving the steering wheel, brake and accelerator.

Do you follow the grooves left by the tires of previous cars? Yes, because those ruts prevent you from the lurching that the vehicle can give when getting out of them. But it will depend on how much is the amount of existing snow and if the snow has been trodden a lot and has turned into ice. Then there are concrete situations.

  • Braking: You have to brake with small touches to control the direction so that the car does not go away. Forget about downshifting or downshifting, as increasing torque here doesn’t help. It is best to drive with a lot of foresight, adjusting your speed well before necessary.
  • Skate: If you skid, take your foot off the gas and control the car only with the steering wheel until you place it where you will have traction again. Accelerating will increase the vehicle’s lack of control and braking, which would further unbalance the rear. This is what comes naturally on many occasions … but it only makes the situation worse.
  • Curves: Always take it in such a way that the tire does not lose contact. So at a constant speed and knowing that you may need to accelerate at some point.
  • Downs: If you find that you cannot break, take the car to an area with thicker snow accumulation and turn the steering entirely to one side, braking fully. It will be the snow that stops you. This is a point to use only in a tight spot.
  • Uploads: Increase your speed a little and put it up in a gear that allows you to complete the climb without changing, and in which you can take the accelerator about halfway.

Already in destination

You have arrived safely, without problems, after following all the previous tips. Congratulations. But the trip is not over, especially if the low temperatures continue and the snowfalls. So here are a couple of tricks:

  • Do not leave the parking brake pulled to the maximum: If the temperatures drop a lot, it can freeze, and it will cost a lot to remove it. Better sometimes to leave gear in gear.
  • Wiper washer: They are the first to freeze. Ideally, leave them unfolded and, better yet, place cardboard or a blanket between them and the moon. This is how you kill two birds with one stone: you don’t freeze, and the next day you don’t have to scratch the glass. These are some of the tips for caring for the windshield in winter.

And remember, the salt that you have found on the road damages your car, but there are solutions.

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