The snowy season is upon us, and for pickup truck drivers that means especially treacherous conditions. Snow and ice require drivers to increase braking distance, deal with poor visibility, maneuver with less traction, and to be wary of the unpredictable skills (or complete lack thereof) of other drivers sharing the road. However, driving in a truck in winter conditions presents additional challenges because of the vehicle’s distribution of weight and rear-wheel drive operations. If you are driving a pickup in less than ideal conditions, here are some tips from the team at Duraflap Drill-Less Mud Flaps so that you can protect yourself:
- Know when 4×4 helps and when it doesn’t. Contrary to the handling of some drivers, 4 wheel drive does not make a truck safer while driving on the road. Instead, 4 wheel drive is invaluable if your vehicle becomes stuck in snow or mud and can assist your truck with acceleration. However, drivers should not become overly confident driving at high (or normal) speeds in snow and ice because the 4 wheel drive system becomes much more difficult to stop and the braking distance increases tremendously.
- No skiing allowed. Specific driving tactics help pick up drivers safely handle downhill slopes. Instead of relying on brakes, drivers should put the truck into a lower gear so the engine will do most of the work to slow the vehicle. By placing the vehicle into a 2-wheel drive, the front wheels will stop sliding as they are released to move independently while the back wheels remain responsible for slowing the truck.
- Beware of the turns. Safely handle icy or snowy curves by using the same techniques you use for hydroplaning. If you don’t feel the tires responding when you turn your wheel, release the pressure on the gas pedal. Of course, it’s a good idea to keep your speed down well ahead of the turn to give you and your truck more time to adjust to the road’s conditions.
- Just go with it. If you feel the bed of your truck starting to fishtail, calmly let up on the gas pedal to slow down and allow your tires to gain traction while gently turning the wheel into the direction of the slide.
- Gear up. Make sure your pickup truck has the correct tires for your specific driving conditions. Studded tires or snow tires can help you achieve greater traction in poor conditions. You may want to throw a shovel in the back and keep extra water and gloves onboard just in case you get stuck.
Wherever the road takes you, prepare your vehicle with a new set of drill-less mud flaps from DuraFlap. Our mud flaps are made from the highest quality material to give you years of unbelievable protection from road debris, snow, and slush. Best of all, our mud flaps use already drilled holes on your truck so installation is quick and easy. Visit us online at www.duraflap.com or click here to see our catalog of artwork to make customizing your truck’s appearance a breeze.