What is dangerous winter track?
Some useful tips for lovers of traveling in the cold season!
In the city, the price of error is a crumpled wing, on the road - death. This eternal truth in winter takes on special urgency, because to the usual dangers a heap of others is added. And not only associated with a slippery coating.
But we will begin with it, from the most important deterrent when driving along the highway in winter - a slippery road. And immediately note that in Russia the only correct choice of tires for the route is the studded ones. If in big cities, where they pour and pour any anti-starch muck, you can sometimes make compromises and use "Velcro", then on the road - only thorns. And not just spiked, but really high-quality and well clinging to the ice. We have already touched on this problem and recall that "qualitative and well clinging" is the first half of the final protocol of tire tests of any decent automobile edition.
You can, of course, "argue" that, after -20 ° C, the coupling properties of friction and stud tires are almost equal. But is there any absolute certainty that such frost will last throughout your trip? Here we are about the same.
The author of this article travels on winter (and not only) routes for 20 years. And only twice I happened to go on Velcro. The very first time, far back in 1997, on the way from Krasnoyarsk to Omsk was cold, and not the most outstanding "Velcro" Falken quite tolerably clung to the frostbitten asphalt. But on the "mischievous bends" in the Kemerovo region it was already hard. My other experience of winter riding on Velcro was depressing. At a temperature of -5 ° C, snow fell and a very slippery roll formed on the road. On which the excellent friction tires Michelin X-Ice were completely helpless.
There was, however, one more extreme driving experience, but already on the so-called "all-season" tires - in January 2012 in the Denver, Colorado area. Americans almost never equip rental cars with special winter tires. But the Russian experience still allowed not only to stay on the icy road, but also to travel around the cars of Americans, whom the elements and their own negligence scattered on curbs and ditches like billiard balls.
But of my own volition and my own car, I will never go on the track on Velcro. At least because I have not used them for many years.
Before the road
To begin with, a list of mandatory things that must be in the car before a long winter road. And also two words about some of the activities that are worth taking with the car:
1. Strong rope or rope.
It is strong, but not the first one in the car dealer Chinese. And it's better to be more authentic or even two "ordinary" ones - when you fly to the ditch, the short one may not be enough.
2. "Cardboard" in front of the radiator.
Very relevant at temperatures below -20 ° C. And it will help not only to ensure the temperature balance of the engine cooling system, when the heat generated may not be enough for the "stove", but also to prevent the crankcase ventilation system from freezing. That is fraught with "spitting out" the oil dipstick and loss of engine oil.
3. Warm things.
On the road, anything can happen, including - a breakdown or an accident. If the engine is damaged, it is not known how much it will be necessary to wear out in the cold.
4. Tourist gas burner with a pair of spare cylinders.
In the most extreme case, it can be lit directly in the cabin. Oxygen it "burns" a little, but the salon more or less warms up.
5. Increased supply of "ice-free".
6. A small supply of non-perishable food and drinking water.
On my way
It is necessary to take it as a rule and strictly follow its implementation - approximately every 10 minutes, as well as with any visually different change of surface, "try" the road. To do this, briefly squeeze the brake pedal and evaluate - whether there is any grip of tires with the road or become even worse.
Thus, we not only introduce an additional element of self-discipline into the driving process, but we are also in constant readiness for the possible nature of emergency braking.
Necessarily include not only mandatory under the traffic rules, passing light, but also fog lights, including - the rear. This is not to see the road better, but to better see you. This is especially true when overtaking on two-lane roads, when there is a snow trail behind the waggons overlapping visibility. In this case, the additional head light allows the counter to see you before they no longer have time to return to their lane.
Overtaking in the conditions of a snow trail is the most potentially deadly maneuver. Personally, I prefer to splash around the wagon before the start of any protracted and gentle left turn, when it will be possible to assess the presence of the oncoming. Often truckers with the right "turn signal" mean that the "collision" is free and you can go to overtaking. But with frequent trips on the highway, it's best to get a CB radio station. It is quite inexpensive, but will allow in real time to ask the "farthest" situation on the "counter".
We follow the gasoline and always refuel when emptying the tank half. And refueling at branded filling stations of vertically integrated oil companies, they still run into them on a "bodyguard" - a very small chance.
And under any conditions we try not to make sharp movements of the wheel - on the Internet it is full of video, as the machine "unwinds" and takes out on a counter van. It's almost always death. If the irreparable happens, and the accident is inevitable, then we smoothly jump out onto our shoulder and into the snow-covered field with the hope not to "catch" with this bottom any roadside column or other object hidden in the snow. If the flight in the field passed safely and without a coup, and the snow is deep, then there is a chance to get away only by searching for a tug to get the car back on the road. Here, and a long and strong rope / rope is useful.
But to prevent this from happening, we always reduce speed when approaching cars approach and mentally prepare for potentially inadequate actions of their drivers. And to the actions of that guy who can jump out to overtake after the counter wagon. It is also worth slowing down and increasing the distance if the next car in front of you went to overtake a passing wagon.
Well, and most importantly - if there is a possibility of an alternative in the form of a train or an airplane, then it is better not to go by car. Our tracks (and many not quite adequate drivers) and in the summer are dangerous, and in the winter - a hundredfold.