Autumn and winter arrive accompanied by the cold, the inclement weather and the dreaded snow. And that unfortunately involves complicated situations on Spanish roads. Snow complicates driving and leads to risk situations that, in the worst case, result in accidents. However, if we are cautious, we will avoid problems and, above all, minimize risks. Now,what 10 tips we have to follow to prevent snow a trip makes us bitter and I ended up becoming one of the worst experiences lived in a car?
1. With snow, avoid taking the car
The most obvious advice, not to be a truism, is less important to remember, is to avoid traveling by car unless it is strictly necessary. But that is not always an option, for example if we have to return to our home after a vacation trip, or weekend, to return to our work. If there is snow forecast, it is best to avoid the car and opt for other means of transport, such as the train, or the plane.
2. Be very attentive to the weather
Checking the weather for the next few hours is more than advisable. And not being informed in these times that is running out of excuse, when from our own mobile phone, the media and the AEMET website, we can have a fairly accurate weather forecast, even in time zones, to avoid the hours in which the risk of rain or snowfall is greater, or anticipate the situation that we may find in each province on longer trips.
3. Find out about the road situation
The DGT offers continuously updated traffic maps, in which we can check the situation of the roads, see which sections are blocked by snow, or require the use of chains and winter tires, and a multitude of incidents. For example, information is provided on traffic restrictions, the risk of snowfall and cuts in some sections, traffic problems resulting from the fall of a tree, or accidents, and so on.
See traffic map of the DGT.
4. Follow the social networks of the DGT
Social networks can be really useful in situations like the one that Spanish roads cross this weekend. From the corporate channel of DGT Twitter It also reports the situation on the roads and punctual cuts and, above all, from the canal DGT information. Nor is it a bad idea to follow the AEMET channel, the State Meteorological Agency.
If we want to clarify the updated information even more, it is worth doing searches on Twitter to find driver tweets that have encountered traffic problems, and the latest media information. Watch Twitter search for AP6 + Nevada.
5. Plan your route in advance and in real time
With all the information we have, there is no reason not to carry out a planning of the route that we are going to follow, avoid the most conflicting sections, and try to use main network roads, highways and highways, which are the ones that are generally most monitored and prepared to face a storm. In any case, in the past we have seen how snowfall collapsed, and even left drivers trapped, on roads of the main road network, including highways.
Hence, the best, in addition to planning the route in advance, is to use applications that allow us to track the traffic status in real time. My favorite, by far, is Waze. From this application we can calculate in real time the fastest route, with updated information thanks to the information transmitted by other drivers who use the application when passing through sections hours or even minutes before us. Thanks to these applications, if a section has been collapsed by snow, or traffic is running very slowly, we will find alternative routes and even receive notices that discourage us from reaching a collapsed section.
6. Don't forget the chains
It is important that we be aware of the technical specifications of our car and be prepared to deal with a risk situation. If we do not have a winter tire, it is important to travel with chains, and even more to know how to ride them. On the other hand, we should not overestimate the skills of our car. SUVs have been popularized in recent years, in some cases with all-wheel drive. But not even a car with all-wheel drive can help us get out of a heavy snowfall if we don't have the right tire.
Even counting appropriate tires, or chains, will not prevent us from getting stuck on a road, if the road is completely blocked by other cars that are not prepared to drive through the snow.
7. What should I take in the car?
If we have never experienced an extreme situation, such as having to sleep in the car on a road due to the cuts caused by a snowfall, it is likely that we find it difficult to imagine and anticipate, for example trying to bring some basic supplies in the car. It is more than advisable to travel with water, some food, warm clothes, or even blankets in the car. Not only could we find ourselves in the situation of getting stuck on a road, but the cuts on a main road force us to have to spend the night in some of the existing winter car parks next to the roads to deal with emergency situations like this.
It is also important to travel with mobile phones, which are well charged, and have the cables that allow us to charge it in the car if necessary.
8. Fill the tank
It is important to fill the tank of our car before starting a trip during a snow storm. One of the worst situations we could face would be to run out of fuel. Consider that if we have to stay for hours on a snowy road, starting the engine to maintain the air conditioning systems is essential, and although the consumption of a car's combustion engine is low in that situation, prolonging it for hours could entail that the fuel in the tank runs out, aggravating the situation.
9. Follow snow driving precautions
Reduce speed, anticipate risks, increase safety distance with other cars, learn how to use fog lights, and so on. Tips that are not only valid for driving with snow, but also for heavy rains, or fog.
10. With snow, do not assume unnecessary risks
If we are aware that we do not travel prepared, avoid unnecessary risks. If we know that our car does not have an appropriate tire, or chains, we do not face sections in which the risk of getting caught and that our car cannot drive is too high. We don't try to cross water rafts whose depth we don't know. And in general remember that prevention is always better than cure.