How to drive in snow and ice, for dummies...

aldo98229

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Remember: 30 MPH on snow covered roads is like 100 MPH on bare pavement: the Jeep will take a LOT longer to react: to accelerate, to steer, to brake.

If you start to slide, the main thing is to (1) remain calm and (2) avoid abrupt actions.

You cannot regain control unless you remain calm. Don’t forget that steering into the direction of your slide helps you regain traction.

And remember, the freeway is where bad drivers get together. Like others have said, being surrounded by thousands of drivers totally unfamiliar with driving in those conditions is the biggest risk. Err on the side of caution at all times.

Drive safe.

Burt Reynolds...after driving in snow
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Adventure.AS

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Never used chains or even seen a car with chains in my (many) years driving in Michigan. Is this a mountain region thing? Seems it would be hard and rough to drive on the highway with literal chains on your tires.
You usually won't need chains on the roadway, but if you are forced off the road you may need to put them on as they may be the only thing to give you enough traction to get out of the snow/mud/ice in the median or swale. They can be used when driving off-road too for better traction in mud.
 

oceanblue2019

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Never used chains or even seen a car with chains in my (many) years driving in Michigan. Is this a mountain region thing? Seems it would be hard and rough to drive on the highway with literal chains on your tires.
Use them to get unstuck or on ice-covered surfaces. You don't drive with them on bare or mostly bare pavement as will destroy them and the surface.

I grew up in the Yukon and they were a pretty standard thing to have in your vehicle over winter months.
 

Oldbear

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1. Your Jeep in 4-wheel drive will have more ability to 'go' in slippery conditions, but no more advantage in stopping than a Camry - go slowly if the driving conditions are poor.
2. Have a shovel, other recovery gear and safety items including water, food, a blanket and candles with you to help yourself (if required) and others if you feel so inclined.
3. Have plenty of fuel and windshield washer antifreeze. You may also need a snow brush/ice scraper if you can find one.
4. Tire chains if you can find them.
5. CB radio to listen to the truckers.
6. Keep your eye in the rear view mirror for idiots coming up too quickly behind you, who won't be able to stop, so that you can take evasive action if required.
Fully agree with ALL the above. A Jeep with 4wd will go anywhere you want IF you drive responsibly. Remember 4wheel drive gives you a good bit more “go” than the folks in a standard vehicle but NO more “whoa”. Folks get in trouble with 4 WD when the drive to fast forgetting that their stopping/turning traction is the same as the dude in the car they just passed. Take it easy, drive conservatively and you’ll be fine, just watch out for other folks who aren’t taking it easy😏
 

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You may consider using an app like Waze to navigate even if you know where you're going. It does a pretty good job of avoiding traffic and congestion. My wife uses it when we go on road trips and several times it would tell us to get off the freeway. I'd be wondering why but half a mile down the frontage road we'd see stopped traffic.
 

cosine

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@Stormin’ Moorman

listen to the cb for a trucker call name "snowman". meet up with him and load up the jl in the back of his truck and ride with him. :CWL:

here are a couple of things that works for me (some have been mentioned)

- take more breaks than your usual normal traveling trips. with the winter driving, you will be more vigilante and it will ware you down more. be careful and stay alert.

-give yourself plenty of travel time. and if overnight is in the travel, get them early. do think that "i'll drive another hour before stopping" method will work because most likely everyone else got off the road early. you could end up driving more just to find a place to stop for the night.

- stay in the far right lane as much as possible. this way you can drive at a comfortable pace. thats at a slower speed, which can be 15 to 20 mph slower than the posted speed. even slower if necessary. example. my commute is 45 mph. i was driving at 20 mph. thats how bad the roads were and its was a local road.

-use your 4 way flashers if you driving very slow or in a bad visibility situation. even it you are stopped. see what other drivers are doing. dont pay attention to those drivers with there flashers on and doing 65 mph, passing everyone else. they are not special.

- keep plenty of distance from everyone. especially in front of you. that way you have time to react not panic on whats happening.

- dont trust any other drivers. majority of them think they can drive in anything because they have awd, fwd, or 4wd. truck drivers for the most part are experienced. however be ware of them since half of them could be southern drivers and never traveled in the snow. cb is a great tool to listen in on them because they relay whats going on on the road ahead. scanner is also a good one due to listening to the weather and other communication.

- use 4hi on the snow and heavy slush. this will not only help in traction. but it will help in minimizing fishtailing. use it in a same theory as if you were 4 wheeling. remember where you are on the t case. get out of 4hi and back in 2 when you see the clear road.

- read the digital highway board. they will give you updated info. same with the radio. usually its a am station specific for highway info. keep you cellphone on for the alerts.

-braking tech. avoid it as much as possible. with the distance you have let off the gas and coast with light braking. remember you have abs. if slipping accrues stay on the brake and steer. and if things gets a little dicey, the snow bank is you friend. just make sure the snow bank is what you are heading into and not flying off the road. the snow back can either be hard or soft. so if you have to use it try to ease the impact. kinda like brushing up to it.

- tire pressure. depending on the road conditions. you could let out some air out of the tires for better traction. i'm currently running at 32/33 psi. only because i havent had a chance to air them back up. i'm also on local roads. 5 psi would be the max in let out. again not necessary.

- heres a biggie. when you see the plow trucks. let them go ahead of you. i've seen real morons driving in front of them struggling and slowing them down. keep a safe distance from the plow trucks because they will be throwing salt. use the lane they are plowing. drive on the plowed lane vs snow packed lane.

- have the maps of the travel routes and use the gps. the gps will assist you if you fall into a limited visibility. the gps will get you off the road and into a gas station / hotel, etc. follow the traffic pattern. example. if you are seeing a ton of vehicles getting off the road. then something is up ahead that they are avoiding. truck drivers can be a big clue.

- talk to the truck drivers. they usually know more then the car next to you on road conditions. they are also good on info on alternate routes to avoid certain areas.

- it wouldnt hurt to have your recovery gear with you, just in case you get stuck. but be safe and not necessarily a hero in pulling other folk out.i know it might sound harsh, but think of it. tow trucks usually will have state troopers blocking for them in a recovery. you dont have that option.

- make sure you have plenty of windshield washer fluids. you would be surprise how much crap collectsupon the window. i would get the one with the de ice mixed in. they work really well.

i know thats a bit of info here and theres plenty more to offer or i'm forgetting. but the key thing is to use common sense and the best judgement. observe the truck drivers are your best source. for the most part. also, the roads might not be as bad. stay vigilant. stay safe. and forget about getting the 400 cases of coors beer back to ga in 16 hours. we can wait.
 

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Don't be that guy... or watch out for those guys...;)

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cosine

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Never used chains or even seen a car with chains in my (many) years driving in Michigan. Is this a mountain region thing? Seems it would be hard and rough to drive on the highway with literal chains on your tires.
chains are used in really heavy snow areas that have mountains roads like donners pass, etc. the thing is its used in small sections of the road. due to the chain abusive to the road surface. so it not like you can run them all the time. yes the chains are a rough ride and if you are not careful with them, they will snap and do some pretty good damage to vehicles. even the cable type setup. in some sections of the highway (depending on the state) the chains are required. they are a real pain in the @$$ in dealing with them. some state chains are illegal. so the southern state is not really a chain type area. i use the cable type set up for work and eventho they help, its a pain in the @$$ dealing with them.
 

Jeepmarkjl

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All the tips here are great - especially the braking ones. What I taught my boys up here in Northern IL, is to make sure to imagine that everyone driving around you doesnt know how to drive in the ice and snow. Assume that they dont know how to stop or turn properly. Give yourself room.
 

Chief_Dan

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I see a lot of fantastic advice here. But, I want to reiterate a few & add some.

Make sure someone knows your route & expected time of arrival. With this have a couple of alternative routes & make sure that person knows those routes as well.

Have some recovery gear, blankets, cold weather apparel, just in case.

Take it slow & easy. Watch way ahead when on highway or interstate. This way you may be able to see trouble before you get caught up in it & be able to get off the highway or interstate & take an alternative route. In cases of a big pileup, if you can stop about 1/4+ mile before it & pull over & use hazards you might not get caught up in it. Don't stop over the crest of a hill or in a curve. Be visible.

Have a map in case your phone nav isn't working.

Have some polarized sun glasses, they really help cut the glare caused by snow & ice.

Check each state you will be traveling through for a traffic app, phone number, or traffic map. Here in TN we have the TDOT Smartway map that shows weather conditions for the roads & will display accidents & construction zones.

So, just take it easy, drive defensively, & be smart. Common sense goes a long way, but common sense doesn't seem to be so common now days.

Be careful!
 

Spdu4ia

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i really hate the, " 4 wheel drive isn't 4 wheel stop" saying... pretty sure you have brakes on all four wheels.

sorry just had to get that out. Just take it slow pay attention to those around you , you'll be fine.
 

cOtter

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But i need to bring a load of Coors back to GA!
I am getting kick out of your comment because some have NO IDEA what you are referencing. EAST BOUND AND DOWN....!!!!!
 

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