Driving up North? What to Do If You Encounter Snow

Sun Devil Auto Expert, published on 02/19/2016

Living in the Valley of the Sun, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter much snow. Even in the coldest part of winter, you will rarely see a snowflake fall in Phoenix. However, if you happen to be traveling up north towards Flagstaff or Prescott, you may encounter snow or ice on the roads. Do you know how to drive in winter weather conditions? Check out this expert advice on staying safe on the roads this season.

Winter Driving Tips

Snow and ice on the road can be frightening for Phoenix residents who aren’t used to icy conditions. It’s important to remain cautious on winter roads as your safety is essential. Here are some tips to remember as you embark on your next winter road trip:

  • Avoid night driving in adverse conditions: If at all possible, plan your trip so you are only traveling during the well-lit daytime hours. Not only will this greatly increase your vision, but it is also the time when temperatures are highest. You may be less likely to encounter ice on the roads during the warmer daytime hours.
  • Make sure your tires are appropriate: There’s no better time to think about new tires than when you’re planning a road trip through winter weather. Make sure your tires have great traction and normal inflation. Narrower tires do well in the winter because they bite through the snow straight down to the pavement, allowing for maximum traction.
  • Avoid cruise control: It’s best to avoid cruise control on wet, slippery pavement. Your car is more likely to hydroplane when set to cruise control, so avoid it until you hit dry roads again.
  • Be cautious on hills: There are several rules that apply to hills in snowy conditions. Don’t apply too much power when going up a hill; it may cause your wheels to start spinning. Instead, gain a little momentum before you reach the hill and let it carry you to the top. Once you’ve crested, slowly descend. You want to go down a hill approximately the same speed you went up.

Take it Slow

The best advice is often the most practical: take it slow. The normal following distance for dry pavement (three to four seconds) should be increased for wet pavement (eight to nine seconds). This allows you to safely stop at a longer distance if necessary. Before you make the trip, call the experts at Sun Devil Auto to ensure your car is in great shape for winter driving.