Did you know that over 70% of the roads in the U.S. are situated in snowy regions? That means that for many of us, driving in snow may not be an option, rather a necessity. To ensure your towing endeavors this winter go off without a hitch, let’s cover some towing basics to make sure you understand the unique challenges you may face when towing in snowy conditions.
1. Plan Ahead and Check Weather Conditions
First and foremost, make sure to check the weather conditions and road reports before towing in snowy conditions. Consider delaying towing your trailer if the roads are expected to be especially icy or there is a chance of heavy snowfall. Now, there are cases where traveling in such conditions might be absolutely necessary. If that is the case, prepare your trailer for the snow and drive with extra caution to avoid slippery surfaces.
2. Add Snow Chains to Your Tires or Use Snow Tires
Adding snow chains to your tires improves traction in snowy conditions. Traction is always a key component to towing safely, and if you do not have snow chains, consider investing in snow tires that provide extra grip in helping you maneuver safely through the winter weather.
3. Drive Slowly on the Road to Avoid Accidents
Don’t get carried away in thinking that because your trailer is prepped, you might not have to be as careful on the road. Taking extra caution with winter road conditions is necessary. Driving slower than the speed limit, and leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and the one ahead are two crucial components to keep in mind.
I know many of you like to live on the edge a little, but trust me on this, you don’t want to react to slippery surfaces or sudden stops. Give yourself extra time to stop and use caution when driving on icy surfaces.
4. Use a Weight Distribution Hitch to Secure Your Trailer
A weight distribution hitch does exactly what it sounds like: it helps to distribute the weight of the load evenly across all of your vehicle’s axles. This is especially important when towing in snowy conditions because for one, it reduces wear and tear on your tires, and two, it helps to reduce unsafe swaying or shifting that can occur on icy roads due to uneven weight distribution.
5. Check the Battery Before Taking Off
Checking the batter of a vehicle is often overlooked. Cold temperatures can drain batteries, so if yours isn’t fully charged, either plug it into a charger or consider replacing it with a new one to make sure you have enough power to get to your destination safely.
6. Keep Emergency Gear with You
Hopefully you’d never have to be in a situation where you’re completely stranded due to some sort of malfunction. But, accidents can happen even to the most prepared, so it’s very smart to keep emergency gear with you at all times when towing in snow. This should include extra warm clothing and blankets, water, food, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit.
7. Know How to Drive in Slippery Conditions
When towing in snow, as we mentioned before, drive slowly and carefully. Follow these tips for driving in slippery conditions to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and others on the road.
Use Low Gear
Always use a low gear to start off to avoid spinning the tires and to maintain better traction on the road.
Apply light Pressure When Braking
Press the brakes gently to avoid skidding or sliding on icy surfaces.
Do Not Oversteer
Avoid the urge to overcorrect your steering as that will likely result in losing complete control of your driving.
Avoid Sudden Changes in Speed or Direction
To prevent sliding on icy surfaces, drive and turn slowly.
Increase Distance Between You and Other Vehicles
Use your brakes to slow down gradually and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you to give yourself extra reaction time.
8. Do a Practice Run Before Driving Long Distances in the Snow
Whether your tow trip entails a far away destination—or even if it’s a round trip of 20 miles, consider doing a practice run to tow with confidence. Doing a short test drive will give you an idea of how to handle towing in the snow, and help you gain the experience with other obstacles on the road.
Tow Safely This Winter with Weigh Safe
Towing in snow can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be when you have the knowledge and equipment suited for safety. Towing with Weigh Safe’s ball mounts creates a peace of mind for our customers as they have one less thing to worry about when it comes to tongue weight.
Weigh Safe products are designed to provide an extra layer of towing security to keep you safe on the road this winter season.