Driving on Snow or Ice
Drive carefully when there is snow or ice between the tires and the road, creating less traction or grip.
Wet ice can occur at about 0°C (32°F) when freezing rain begins to fall, resulting in even less traction.
Avoid driving on wet ice or in freezing rain until roads can be treated with salt or sand.
Drive with caution, whatever the condition. Accelerate gently so traction is not lost. Accelerating too quickly causes the wheels to spin and makes the surface under the tires slick, so there is even less traction.
Try not to break the fragile traction.
If you accelerate too fast, the drive wheels will spin and polish the surface under the tires even more.
The Antilock Brake System (ABS) improves vehicle stability during hard stops on slippery roads, but apply the brakes sooner than when on dry pavement. See Antilock Brake System (ABS) on page 9‑32.
Allow greater following distance on any slippery road and watch for slippery spots. Icy patches can occur on otherwise clear roads in shaded areas. The surface of a curve or an overpass can remain icy when the surrounding roads are clear. Avoid sudden steering maneuvers and braking while on ice.
Turn off cruise control on slippery surfaces.
Being stuck in snow can be a serious situation. Stay with the vehicle unless there is help nearby.
If possible, use Roadside Assistance.
To get help and keep everyone in the vehicle safe: • Turn on the hazard warning flashers.
• Tie a red cloth to an outside mirror.
Snow can trap engine exhaust under the vehicle. This may cause exhaust gases to get inside. Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide (CO) which cannot be seen or smelled. It can cause unconsciousness and even death.
If the vehicle is stuck in the snow: • Clear away snow from around the base of your vehicle, especially any that is blocking the exhaust pipe.
• Check again from time to time to be sure snow does not collect there.
• Open a window about 5 cm (2 in) on the side of the vehicle that is away from the wind to bring in fresh air.
• Fully open the air outlets on or under the instrument panel.
• Adjust the climate control system to a setting that circulates the air inside the vehicle and set the fan speed to the highest setting. See “Climate Control Systems” in the Index.
To save fuel, run the engine for only short periods as needed to warm the vehicle and then shut the engine off and close the window most of the way to save heat. Repeat this until help arrives but only when you feel really uncomfortable from the cold. Moving about to keep warm also helps.
If it takes some time for help to arrive, now and then when you run the engine, push the accelerator pedal slightly so the engine runs faster than the idle speed. This keeps the battery charged to restart the vehicle and to signal for help with the headlamps. Do this as little as possible to save fuel.
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