Tips for Driving Under Adverse Conditions

Posted on

Tips for Driving Under Adverse Conditions

Driving on Snowy or Icy Roads

• Set the selector knob to 4H position. Gently release the clutch and apply the accelerator for a smooth start and to avoid wheel spin.
• Use of snow tyres and / or tyre chain is recommended. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles to avoid sudden braking and slow down by shifting down the gears. Avoid sudden acceleration, braking or turning. Such sharp manoeuvers can cause loss of traction and thereby loss of vehicle control.

Driving on Sandy or Muddy Roads

In case the traction on the wheels is sufficient, you may be able to proceed in 4H mode. However in case change in road conditions are anticipated, it is better to select the 4L mode. Shift the selector knob to 4L position by following the correct procedure and proceed in the normal manner. Your vehicle will move at a slower pace with higher engine RPM in the same gear because of the 4L mode. To match your power and speed requirements, you can shift up in any of the 5 forward gears or the reverse gear.

You may choose to reduce the tyre pressure marginally for additional grip on loose surfaces, though with a slight loss of ground clearance.

Try to maintain a constant engine speed and avoid sudden acceleration which can cause wheel spin and loss of traction, possibly leading to bogging down of the vehicle.

If the vehicle gets stuck in loose sand, do not keep on accelerating as the wheel spin will only result in the wheels sinking deeper.

The extent of muddy / sandy, conditions and the traction available is difficult to judge and the vehicle can get bogged down deeply. Operation should be done at slow speed only. If possible, get down and check the path conditions before proceeding.

Driving Through Water

Never venture to drive through water when it flows over guard stones. Engine may get seriously damaged if attempted to cross over through deep water.

If at all the situation demands that you have to drive through water then;

– Keep engine in fast idling and crawl the vehicle in low gear.
– After driving through water apply brakes several times to dry liners and to regain original braking.

Do not attempt to start the engine if vehicle gets flooded due to water.

Driving on a Rainy Day

• Check brakes, steering and windows.
• Check tyres for wear and tyre pressure.
• Check wiper blades for proper functioning.
• Avoid harsh braking and sharp turns. It may cause loss of control and lead to a skid.
• For slowing down, shift to lower gears and brake gently.
• Keep lights ON if visibility is poor.

Night Driving
• Dip the head lamp for oncoming traffic during night driving.
• Maintain a speed such that you can stop within illuminated distance of head lamps.
• Use head lamp main/dip beam to alert other road users on turns/cross roads etc.
• Use side indicators for lane change or turning.
• Put on hazard warning switch in case of hazardous parking or if your vehicle is disabled to warn the passing traffic.

Climbing Sharp Gradients on Loose Surfaces

• Select the 4L mode, start off smoothly in any suitable gear. Apply power smoothly so that there is no loss of traction by over-revving of the engine.
• Choose as smooth a slope as possible and select the appropriate gear so that gear changing in the middle of the climb is not required. Changing gears in the middle of the climb can cause loss of momentum and engine stalling. Shifting to lower gear has to be done cautiously to avoid loss of traction.

• Under no conditions should the vehicle be moved diagonally across a hill. The danger is in loss of traction and sideways slippage, possibly resulting in tipping over. If unavoidable, choose as mild an angle as possible and keep the vehicle moving.
• If the wheels start to slip within few feet of the end of the climb, motion can be maintained by swinging the steered wheels left and right, thereby providing increased grip.
• If the vehicle stalls or losses headway while climbing a steep hill, make a quick shift to reverse and allow the vehicle to move back with the control of engine compression.

Descending Sharp Gradients

• Select the 4L mode and depending on the severity of the gradient, shift into appropriate gear. Use engine braking judiciously without over-revving the engine.
• Brake application under such situations should be done very smoothly to avoid loss of control. Select appropriate gear so that gear changing or clutch disengagement is not involved while descending the gradient.

Towing the Vehicle

• For towing the vehicle, the best way is to use a recovery van.
• Alternatively use a rigid tow bar.
• Avoid using flexible cable or rope as your vehicle may crash into towing vehicle when it stops suddenly.
• Switch ‘ON’ Hazard warning switch to warn the other road users.
• Keep the engine in idling so that power steering assistance is available. This will also built the vacuum for the brakes.
• In case of brake failure, use parking brake

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s