Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter driving tip, from a Canadian.

This may seem obvious to some readers out there, however there are so many people here who don't seem to know how to get their car moving from a parked position when there is a bit of snow underneath it.  I keep hearing and seeing people everywhere who are spinning their tires rapidly, frustrated that they are not able to maneuver their car on the snow/ice.

Take this as a basic tip from an experienced snow and ice driver:

Do NOT push down on the gas as you normally would on dry or wet ground.  DO push very VERY lightly on the gas pedal.  You are aiming for a speed of between 5-10 km/hr to start off.  If you do this, the weight of your car and frictional physics will work to your advantage, and your car will move, very easily where you want it to.  Once it's moving, then you can speed up little by little, maintaining control of your car the whole time.

IF you are spinning your tires on the snow and ice, ALL you are doing (via the polishing motion of your tires moving rapidly and repeatedly over the same surface) is creating a smooth surface between your tires and the snow.  It will be harder for your tires to get a grip on that freshly polished surface.  IF you stop spinning your tires and try to move your car verrrry slowwwly off that smooth surface, it normally works.

IF you are STILL stuck, after trying to move verrry slowwly, put some grit under your tires, and then try the moving very slowly maneuver again.  Believe it or not, many Canadians keep a little bag of kitty litter or sand in the back of their car during the winter for such emergencies (which rarely arise since we pretty much all know about the whole starting-slow-from-stationary thing.)

If this helps just one person here with their winter driving, I'll be very glad.  I'm seriously considering translating these instructions into French and anonymously placing them on car windows in my neighbourhood, considering there are presently THREE different cars outside my house, all spinning their tires like idiots on about ONE whopping centimeter of snow.

So anyways Belgium... just thought I'd let you in on that little winter driving tip.  It's not your fault you don't get a lot of practice on the snow, but now you know.  I will say however, that you guys are champions at driving in really horrid rain, just so you don't think I'm being superior or something. :)

1 comment:

EFRUTIK said...

LOL I loved it laughed too and no I am not Canadian :)

So this is definitely a tip worth actually translating. If you need me to I can actually also translate it into Russian.

We had a snow storm yesterday and I braved to come out to take a look at my car today. I did exactly what you wrote (which shows that I am finally getting a grip of handling my car for once) and it is definitely the way to go!!!!!

Teach the Belgian folk :)