Mini Coopers are known for their superior handling and small size, both of which make them ideal for city driving. Not surprisingly, they also handle well during Abbotsford’s snowy winters, but that doesn’t mean that inexperienced drivers can expect to always be safe. It takes skill and diligence to drive any vehicle in the winter, and that includes Minis. Before you set out on the roads this winter with your new Mini, make sure you heed some of these tips.
Practice in a Safe Setting
Before you take your Mini on the highway after a snowfall, take it to a parking lot and practice your winter driving skills. Vehicles that have never been on a snowy or icy road may not perform in the way you expect. Drive it carefully around a deserted parking lot so you don’t have any surprises once you take it out on the road.
It’s easy to spin out of control in the snow if you shift to a higher gear too quickly. Shift as smoothly as you can, and try to stick to the highest gear possible to maintain control of your vehicle.
Avoid Deep Snow
Minis are small and lightweight by design, and while that makes driving on slippery roads easier it also makes it easy to get stuck in deep snow. Accept the fact that your Mini cannot power through a tall snowdrift like a pickup truck or SUV can, and stick to relatively clear roads.
A tried and true rule of driving anywhere is to never go faster than conditions allow. During particularly harsh winter days, that may mean not being able to go faster than 32 km/h on highways. This may be irritating if you’re in a hurry or simply enjoy going fast, but it’s always better to spend more time on the road than to end up in a horrible accident.
Slamming On Your Brakes May Not Help
Many people who aren’t used to winter driving think they can stop themselves by slamming on their brakes when they go out of control. This is a very bad idea on an icy road. Slamming on your brakes will only cause them to lock and make your car slide even if it’s a lighter Mini. If you feel yourself start to go out of control, take your foot off the accelerator and gently apply the brake to slow safely to a stop.
When in Doubt, Don’t Drive
While there will be times when winter driving will be unavoidable, there will also be times when it will be safer to just stay home. Use your best judgment. If you believe that it’s not safe to drive, just stay home.
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