Snow, iceandsleetmakedriving during wintermore dangerousthan normal.Driving safelyduring wintermeans thatyour driving styleshould be adjusted. We provide you with an overview of do's and don'ts of driving during winter, so you will alwaysreach your destinationsafely.
Don'ts – Mistakes often made while driving in winter
Braking in turns: If the road is slippery due to ice or snow, it can be very dangerous to brake while in a bend. There is a possibility the car will lose grip and slip off the road, especially when driving at a moderate to high speed. It is safer to slow down well before the bend and to not brake while steering into the bend. This way, just letting go of the gas pedal should be enough if necessary.
Lowering tyre pressure: Drivers sometimes decide to lower their tyre pressure, in an attempt to enhance the car grip during winter. In practice, however, a low tyre pressure is at the expense of the stability of your car. The result is that your car is more likely to slip off the road.
Relying too much on winter tyres: Winter tyres are optimized for wintry conditions. However, this does not mean that there is no risk of slipping off the road anymore. Although the braking distance is shortened by using winter tyres, this is only the case when driving at low to moderate speeds. At a high speed, the braking distance of your car is just as big as it is with regular tyres. Therefore, always keep the wintry conditions in consideration, even with winter tyres.
Do's – Ways to make sure you drive safely during winter
Take your time: In case of wintry conditions, make sure you have more time to reach your destination than normally. It is unsafe to drive at the same speed as you would under normal conditions.
Keep your distance: Slippery roads lead to a longer braking distance, even if winter tyres are installed. Keep this in mind while driving and keep a suitable distance to cars in front of you, especially if it is hard to see what happens further down the road.
Pull up slowly: Take your time while pulling up. When pulling up, your car needs to find grip to the road. During wintry conditions, the road is slippery, making it harder for your car to find its grip.
Fit your car with winter tyres: Winter tyres reduce braking distance and provide more grip during wintry conditions. In the Netherlands, winter tyres are not mandatory during winter, but recommended. In other countries, such as Germany, you are required to drive with winter tyres during winter. When hiring a car at BB&L car rental, it is possible to have winter tyres placed on your rental car.
Brake responsibly: Braking during bends can lead to your car slipping off the road. On straights, it is usually possible to brake normally. Although it may be counter intuitive, it is wise to brake powerfully when an emergency stop has to be made. The ABS system ensures that the wheels will not lock, but continue turning. This way, the vehicle will keep its grip to the road.
Bring snow chains: When driving in mountain areas during winter, it is wise to bring snow chains with you. In some regions in Germany, Austria, France and other countries, you may be required to place snow chains on your tyres before continuing on some roads. Road signs will signal when this is needed. As with winter tyres, it is possible to rent snow chains at BB&L car rental.