Tips for Driving in Snow

2019 Ford Ranger In The Snow

As we leave fall and summer behind in Salt Lake City, it’s time to prepare for the cold months ahead. And while there’s plenty to enjoy in Draper– like ski season and the holidays, driving in the snow can be stressful for even the most seasoned navigator. So, how can you make driving in snow a better experience? The team at National Auto Plaza is here to offer our top wintertime tips, so you can feel total confidence behind the wheel.



How is Driving in Snow Different?

  • Adjust Your Speed: Because the roads are slick, you’ll need to accelerate and decelerate slowly. This helps you avoid skidding, particularly on icy surfaces.
  • Increase Following Distance: You’ll brake slower in the winter, so we recommend increasing your following distance to five or six seconds to give yourself more room to stop. 
  • Approach Hills Carefully: Trying to power up hills will only result in wheel spin, so get some momentum and let it carry you to the top of the hill. Don’t stop as you ascend, but reduce your speed on the descent. 
  • Use Brakes Strategically: If you need to stop in an instant, you can engage your car’s anti-lock-brake system (ABS). Push the pedal down as hard as you can and keep the pressure on as you steer. The ABS will take over and adjust traction automatically. You might notice some vibrations in the pedal, but it’s perfectly normal.
  • Schedule Your Service: Put yourself in the best possible position for driving in the snow by getting a maintenance visit. Technicians can make sure that your brakes, battery, and other components are working properly as you get into the worst of the winter weather.

Do You Need AWD for the Snowy Utah Winters?

Driving in snow can mean reduced traction and less control, so some Salt Lake City and Draper drivers opt for all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive for added stability. Do you need AWD to handle Utah winters? The answer is really up to you. If you do a ton of winter driving in the snow and ice, features like all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive can certainly give you some extra peace of mind. 

But one of the top tips for driving in snow from Consumer Reports is that “using winter tires matters more than having an all-wheel-drive vehicle in many situations, and that the difference in snow and ice can be significant.” So you might want to consider putting your money toward a good set of winter tires, which outperform all-season tires when it’s below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in South Salt Lake.

Get More Tips for Driving in Snow at National Auto Plaza

Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions on how to drive in the snow. Our team is well-versed in Utah’s snowy driving conditions, and we can make sure that you feel comfortable navigating all season long. You can also schedule your service appointment online to winterize your car at National Auto Plaza!


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