Tips for Driving in the Snow
Your skiing holiday is fast approaching, your bags are packed, your skis are waxed, and you’ve even got someone to water your plants while you’re gone. Everything seems ready. But are you prepared for driving in the snow?
We know that driving on a snowy road is not easy if you’re not used to it. That’s why we’ve put together a few little tips so you can arrive here safely and calmly and enjoy your holiday even while you’re on the road.
1. Don’t Take Any Risks
This is maybe the most important rule. Winter equipment (winter tyres, chains, or snow socks) is mandatory for a good reason. Always keep this equipment in the boot of your car even if the forecast predicts good weather. Weather can change quickly in the mountains, and you never know what the conditions will be the day you leave after your holiday. So plan ahead and get your vehicle well equipped in advance.
2. How to Avoid Traffic Jams
We recommend that you check the live traffic conditions between Moutiers and Les Menuires on the day of your departure. This site will warn you about road conditions, if equipment is needed to proceed, and if there are delays due to snow. If conditions deteriorate, you definitely shouldn’t wait to chain up or put snow socks on your vehicle.
Why is This Important?
If you try to drive in bad weather with summer tyres, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of the road and cause a traffic jam. The road will be blocked until you finish chaining up.
To avoid this problem, several chain-up areas are available along the road between Moutiers and Les Menuires. These areas will allow you to safely chain up off to the side of the road without stress.
A Small Piece of Advice
Get some practice! The best thing to do is to practise chaining up before your departure; you’ll save time and avoid stress on the day you leave.
3. A Few Tips for Driving More Confidently in the Snow
Finally, here are a few tips for staying in control of your vehicle when driving with winter tyres:
- Stay as calm as possible.
- To avoid your vehicle skidding, don’t make any hard movements with the steering wheel.
- Don’t accelerate too hard; keep to a steady pace to avoid losing traction.
- Don’t try to drive too fast.
- Don’t break too abruptly, even in case of skidding.
- Increase the safety distance between you and other vehicles when going uphill as well as down (the normal braking distance should be multiplied by 4 when driving in the snow).
- If you have a manual transmission, use a higher gear to avoid losing traction (for example, shift to third gear when you would normally be in second). Automatic cars sometimes have a snow mode, which can be very useful.
- Don’t use cruise control.