Winter is upon us and it came with a bang. Many of our customers are not familiar with driving in such demanding environments as the Icelandic winter can throw at us. As with any situation, it’s a question of keeping calm and never drive above your experience and comfort zone. If it’s snowing heavily and it’s slippery, who cares of the inpatient driver behind you honks at you (he/she must be a rude person anyways).
To make your Icelandic winter driving more fun, secure and comfortable, we have put together a few points here you can learn from.
All rental cars at Go Iceland Rental cars are equipped with studded tires for the best, possible traction but studded tires does not relieve you from the responsibility of driving safely.
Make sure you scrape and clean your windows and windshield before taking off. Start your car and then start cleaning them. Do not scrape the rear window from the inside with anything as rear windows are all equipped with defoggers (the small lines you see) and a scraper would damage those lines.
Try to remove the snow from the roof of the car too. It happens too easily when you brake with a good amount of snow on the roof, the whole block of snow slides over your windshield.
3. Side mirrors
Remove any snow and/or ice from them and adjust them so you can see properly on each side of your car.
When filling up a car in extreme cold, it is a good habit to make sure one fills the tank fully for it lessens the chance of getting any water into the fuel system. Diesel or gasoline, goes for both, fill the tank and not just small amounts here and there.
5. Getting stuck in snow
One thing one is not supposed to do is to step on the gas if you get stuck. It’s quite the opposite, you try to work yourself slowly and sure out of your dilemma. If you get the car rolling, do not stop the car before you are fully off the slippery area. You can also try to rock back and forth, trying to get traction but again, try as hard as you can to not lose control and letting wheels spin. If you rented a 4×4, you might have a lock possibility which helps so much to get out of a sticky situation. Just set it to lock and try to drive off slowly and evenly, then unlock it again. The lock function is only made for driving at low speeds and only for a short period of time.
Don’t power up while driving uphill. Brake even lighter when going downhill.
6. Distance to other cars
In slippery conditions it’s a good rule to have a safe distance to the car in front of you. The car ahead might come to a non slippery part of the road, brakes and then you won’t have the chance to stop the car in time if you are driving on ice.
Make sure you are at a comfortable speed before you reach a bend or a curve for you should not brake in a curve. If you have to, then you have entered the curve in a speed too high for the situation and that is a situation where many people drive off the road.
8. Common sense
Be informed before going on a trip. Keep up to date with the weather forecast, find out how the road conditions are between you and your destination. Remember you are on holiday. Don’t take chances.
Keep safe and enjoy your stay in Iceland! #GoIceland