If you are planning to hire a car this holiday season, there are a lot of things you need to consider. The most common tip you’ll come across is ‘hire a four-wheel drive during winter’. While that’s true, it is not the only consideration you should make. Icy roads can be a challenge, but extreme weather can take a toll on the road conditions as well as the rental car. Extreme cold weather weakens battery powers, sucks pressure from the tyres and thickens the operating fluids which make driving a lot tougher.
So if you are planning to go for a winter car rental, you must prepare yourself and your car well. Here are some quick tips that will help you have a smooth drive even during extreme cold weather:
Prepare the Car
Make sure the car is in tip-top shape before you go out for a drive on a snowy road. Especially the tyres and the brake system should be in very good working condition. If you have any doubts, take the car for a quick tune up. Flush out the coolant system and get new coolants installed. To keep yourself and your co-passenger comfortable inside the car, make sure the heater works properly. Check the windshield wipers and get then repaired or replaced if they seem worn out. if you are hiring a car, chances are the car rental company would take care of all the above before handing you the car; but it is always a good idea to get things double checked.
Know which streets are to be plowed first. The authorities plow the streets to keep them safe for driving; however, it is never possible to get all the streets plowed together; so plan your route accordingly.
Winter Driving Tips
Once the car is ready, you are all prepared to hit the road. In order to have a safe drive, here are some quick safe winter driving tips:
- Brake before turning: Most cars slip out of control while attempting to take a quick turn. For a safe drive brake before you take a turn which ensures you turn at a very low speed.
- Keep safe distance when following: it is very important to keep a safe distance between two cars, especially during the winter since the chance of slipping is very high. Keeping some extra space will ensure lesser chances of being slammed into the preceding car.
- Be alert when skidding: most people lose their mind when they start to skid and this is the reason why they end up causing big accidents. Experts advise to go against your natural tendencies of target fixation when skidding; instead release the brake and accelerate gently. This transfers weight from the front to the rear wheels helping you take control of the situation.
- Have the necessary equipment: you must never go out for a ride during winter without having a shovel, bag of salt, ice scraper, extra warm clothing, and a first aid kit.
Driving in the snow is quite tricky; so prepare yourself well. Whether you are a driving your own car or a rental car, the above tips will help you have a smooth drive.