Keep in mind that the tyre's contact area with the ground is the size of a palm. This makes choosing good winter tyre paramount.
To be safe while driving in snow you should follow these few simple rules:
- Avoid aggressive cornering
- Avoid sudden acceleration —acceleration should be gradual
- Avoid sudden braking
- Keep a safe distance to the car in front
- If you have manual transmission, when driving uphill, use a higher gear than you would in dry weather.
- For braking to be safe, you must correctly estimate the distance it will take
- If you have manual transmission, use engine braking combined with a light press on the braking pedal
- If you have manual transmission, when driving downhill, use a lower gear than you would in dry weather
- If you don't have ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) the wheels could block and you could loose control. In that case, brake gradually to prevent wheels from blocking.
- If you have ABS, the wheels won't block, but it won't help in snow if you have summer tyres. The only way to improve braking in snow is by using adequate winter tyres.
Putting the Car in Motion
In order to prevent sliding when putting the car in motion, you should do it by accelerating gradually. If the wheels start slipping, you need to upshift because it decreases the force on the wheels and increases the torque. If you have automatic transmission, you should use Winter mode (if you have it).
When approaching the corner, be sure to slow down to maintain stability. Steer slowly, but if you start loosing control of the front, release the gas pedal and brake if necessary. If the rear end gets out of control, gradually accelerate to return it to course. While cornering, drive at a constant speed.
Cars with front-wheel drive have some advantages over the ones with rear-wheel drive, especially if you have winter tyres on all four wheels. That is because around 60% of the car's weight is carried by the front wheels, which makes putting the car in motion easier. That will help you start, but won't help you stop.
This 60-40 weight distribution in front-wheel drive cars adversely affects steering and cornering. That's why sports cars are often made with rear-wheel drive.
In coclusion, while driving in snow you should have winter tyres mounted on all four wheels to make the ride safer and more comfortable.