How to drive with snow or ice on the road




Sideways winter has arrived, with a generalized drop in temperatures throughout Spain, humidity and rainfall that cause the presence of snow or ice on the roads.

Faced with this meteorological situation, a series of recommendations must be taken into account when traveling by car. In the first place, it is convenient to be aware of the information of the State Meteorological Agency and of the General direction of traffic to really know what conditions we are going to encounter on the way and thus decide if it is advisable to maintain our plan or it is safer to postpone the trip.

If traveling by car is essential, we will also take into account that between late at night and early in the morning It is when the road is most dangerous and that, in addition, the ice sheets are not detected with the naked eye.

As a rule, it is preferable to drive without stepping on ruts, as compacted snow can be frozen easily, and if we carry chains, they will be damaged if there is not enough snow to cushion the knocking they produce when they contact the ground.

Avoid dark stains on the road. Ice has a much lower grip than snow. It is practically impossible to maintain control of the vehicle on this surface without studded tires. The ice sheets can be hidden by snow, but they can also be visible in the form of dark spots that we should avoid as much as possible.

First of all, it is necessary to differentiate if our vehicle equips winter tires or not. These tires offer better grip at low temperatures, on wet asphalt and also on snow and ice. With them it is not necessary to mount chains or disconnect the traction / stability control (ASR / ESP) of the vehicle.

Since doppo by Zurich recommend us reduce speed, increase safety distance, not approach the inside of the curves, maintain between 1,300 and 2,500 rpm in the highest possible gear, do not brake or accelerate abruptly, keep the steering as straight and smooth as possible and if oversteer occurs from the rear, turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. If, on the other hand, the front end is understeer, decelerate and turn the steering wheel slightly towards the vehicle’s path.

If the road is completely covered with snow and we do not have winter tires, the chains will be necessary on the drive wheels. In 4×4 vehicles, the norm dictates mounting chains on all 4 wheels, but if we only have one pair we will install them on the front axle as it is the steering one.

Chains are one of the essential equipment for increase reliability of the car in such situations. There is a lot of types:

With metal chains, the vehicle should not exceed 40 km / h. They are highly resistant and efficient, and show good value for money. On the other hand, they are not suitable for all cars and placing them presents a high difficulty.

· The fabric covers allow you to reach 50 km / h. Their adherence to the ground is quite good, they take up very little space in the trunk, they hardly cause noise or vibrations and their greatest virtue is their ease of installation. Durability is its biggest drawback.

Semi-automatic chains or Spikes SpiderThey are made up of a fixed part that is installed on the rims and another mobile part that we install according to the conditions of the asphalt. They are quick to assemble and have good durability and efficiency. Its biggest drawback is the price.

Network chains or compound chains They are similar to those made of fabric, but in this case the cover is made up of a network of plastic cables covered by textile material. Their assembly is fast, although it requires more force and they present a greater durability.

Spray chains They are applied to the tread of the tire to increase its grip. Their effect is quite limited and they are not valid against the authorities, so they allow us to get out of a punctual predicament.

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