Not everyone works in the mountains to get to work on a snowmobile or cross-country skis. Willy-nilly, many of us have to get into the car and head out for the annual adventure that separates license holders from actual drivers.
Traveling in winter also includes rutted snow ruts, and we, in cooperation with Martin Trpkoš from the Hradec Polygon, will advise you on how to properly cross between two snow ruts. We will describe it using the example of overtaking, however, a similar procedure can also be applied, for example, to hug an obstacle in your lane.
That is, a model situation where you pass another vehicle in snow tracks, keep a sufficient distance and decide to overtake, with other snow tracks waiting for you next to the left.
The correct procedure is to first think this overtaking thoroughly, then turn on the turn signal, look in the rear-view mirror and, in vehicles with a manual transmission, depress the clutch (therefore you can let off the gas), while in the case of automatic models, very sensitively take your foot off the gas pedal.
It follows a slight turn of the steering wheel to the side and crossing the tracks into the left lane at a lower speed than you were driving in those tracks. While crossing the tracks, keep the clutch depressed, i.e. the accelerator.
Once you get to the sidings, you straighten the steering wheel and the car continues straight on them. Only then do you release the clutch sensitively and add gas, whereas with automatics you only add gas slightly.
This is followed by the overtaking phase where you have to create a really sufficient gap with a long margin as you are moving back into the right lane in the same way. That is, the steering wheel, a look in the mirror, the clutch for manuals, the foot off the gas sensitively for automatics, turn the steering wheel slightly to the side and drive back again at a reduced speed – still with your foot on the clutch for manuals or off the gas for automatics.
As soon as you are in the lane, you straighten the steering wheel and the car continues steadily, only then do you release the clutch and sensitively add gas, in other words, only sensitively add gas with automatics. If your vehicle is equipped with driving modes, it is a good idea, especially for vehicles with automatics, to use the wet, snow or eco profile, which will reduce the response of the gas pedal and the rush of torque to the wheels.
If you drive an electric car or another electrified car equipped with recuperation, set its efficiency to the lowest possible level.
At the same time, take into account that the overtaking maneuver itself, involving driving over snow tracks, is overall significantly slower than classic overtaking in wet or dry conditions. You need much more time to do it successfully.
This maneuver performed under the clutch (manuals) or with the gas off (automatics) is done to reduce the risk of rear axle skidding, which is more dangerous, harder to control and more mentally demanding.
And also to prevent rear axle skidding, you should always have tires with a deeper tread on the rear and not on the front axle. After all, we discussed this topic comprehensively IN THIS ARTICLE, so take a look, because there are still other variables involved.
So when it snows again, don’t panic, drive carefully and concentrate on driving!