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Most of us have begrudgingly swaddled ourselves in multiple layers and braved the frigid morning air to dig our tires out and scrape ice off our windshields. We may have had some YouTube-worthy slips and falls in the mountains of snow piled in our yards, but have you had any laugh-out-loud driving fails in the colder months?
Something happens to people when a blizzard hits; they stockpile bread and water from the supermarket. They risk powerful winds and ice to walk to a convenience store just because. And they seem to forget ever learning how to drive.
To help make your next winter a bit more bearable, we’ve put together a compilation of the top 20 snow driving fails along with some helpful winter driving tips and car maintenance advice.
We hope that you learn from these drivers’ misfortunes and that the greatest upset you face next winter is running out of hot chocolate. If that isn’t the case, though, we hope you have the right insurance to help you swiftly recover from any mishaps.
You can make sure you have the best coverage for any season by comparing free quotes online.
The 20 Best Snow Driving Fails
#20 – Slip n’ Slide
Parallel parking is challenging for many drivers even in the best weather. Unfortunately, the icy roads on this neighborhood street sent a driver sliding out of control. Another vehicle also struggles to keep its direction on the ice. This is when some snow tires (and comprehensive coverage) really would have come in handy.
Summer tires aren’t designed to handle the cold temperatures and wintery road conditions, which can lead to braking and handling problems like the ones shown in the video above.
Make sure you learn about the different types of summer and winter tires and swap yours out before the temperature drops.
#19 – The 20-Car Pile-Up
The editing turned this video into an amusing circus act, but it actually showcases how quickly one accident can spiral out of control.
Driving on winter roads always puts you at a greater risk of an accident. Some studded snow tires would provide greater traction, but it’s also important to weigh the pros and cons of going out in cold weather and adhering to weather advisories.
#18 – The Snow Barrier
It doesn’t take feet of thick snow to find yourself stuck on the road. This driver finds themselves trapped on a neighborhood street. Once you start moving, it can be difficult to stop. Snowy, icy roads impact how we need to drive.
Speed plays a large factor; you should also accelerate and deaccelerate slowly. Navigating with caution and controlled movements helps decrease the risk of skidding
#17 – The Bumper Breaker
It’s easy to get stuck in the snow, but it’s a better idea to take advantage of your car insurance’s roadside assistance than try to free your vehicle yourself. Unless you have a tow truck, you risk ripping off parts of your car like the people in this video.
#16 – Burning Rubber … Or Not
The owner of this BMW found themselves in a sticky situation when their car got stuck in some snow. Their wheels aren’t strong enough to make it through. Times like these call for a car winter survival kit.
You should always shave some emergency supplies on-hand (or in the backseat), but the winter season makes preparedness even more important since staying warm is top-priority.
#15 – The Lone Drifter
Drifting can be dangerous in any weather, but the driver of this car has both climate and speed working against them. When they round the corner, their car quickly begins to swerve and spin out of control.
You have to drive differently in the snow since the slick, slippery roads make it much harder to handle steering and pedals. Slow, controlled movements are key here since it allows you to gauge how much traction your car has and gives the gears greater time to respond without putting you at risk.
#14 – The Ford Fail
Bigger doesn’t mean invincible; many people make the mistake of assuming their pick-up trucks and larger cars can handle extreme conditions with ease. Although they may have some advantages, the bigger the car, the greater the risk and damage if things go wrong.
Bigger cars are also heavier, which can make them more difficult to handle on the road.
In addition to proper snow tires and equipment, managing your winter driving habits will make a huge difference when you’re on the road. For example, did you know letting your car warm up for too long can actually cause buildup on the spark plugs?
#13 – Uphill Battle
This driver learns the hard way that car handling isn’t as smooth as it might seem in the snow. When driving uphill, AAA Exchange points out the importance of not accelerating when you’re moving uphill. Instead, drivers should gain some inertia beforehand and let that carry them to the top to avoid spinning tires.
#12 – Nosedive
Some people might be tempted to try some jumps or race in the snow. This is never advised, but even more so in winter weather.
#11 – The Power of Teamwork
It’s a good thing this racer had so many eager helping hands on his side when he got caught in a snow bank. Most of us won’t be so fortunate if they wind up submerged, so it’s important to heed caution before we hit the road. Aside from the winter tires we mentioned earlier, air pressure is another important factor to monitor.
Your tires lose one pound of pressure with every 10-degree temperature drop.
#10 –Public Service
A snowstorm in Montreal left this bus, police cruiser, and other service vehicles completely helpless. As surprising as it is to watch, this video proves that not everyone will be able to get immediate help on winter roads since public transportation and law enforcement vehicles are just as likely to experience difficulty.
#9 – The Smart Car Snow Wreck
Smart cars might be smart, but they aren’t indestructible. Just because your vehicle is high-tech doesn’t mean it can go without all the necessary winter equipment.
#8 – Not All Fun and Games
When it comes to playing in the snow, stick to a sled. Even an empty parking lot can be a hazard when you’re using your car as a plaything. Combined with bad weather, you’re pretty much asking for damages.
We’ve all made mistakes, though, and if you happen to find yourself needing repairs after some fun behind the wheel goes haywire, the right auto insurance will be able to help minimize the cost of damages.
#7 – Snowed-In Autoservice
At least they’re already at a gas station, right? Keeping your tank full and checking fuel levels is important in cold temps, but trying to navigate snowy roads that haven’t been cleared is never a good idea.
To prevent any unnecessary outings, make sure your car has been upgraded and is properly stored during the winter months.
#6 – Thin Ice
Even big rigs can fall victim to winter roads. Although you may not be managing anything as imposing as a semi-truck, you should still pull out all the stops when it comes to keeping your car cold-proof.
Low temperatures wreak havoc on vehicles; your battery only has half of the power at 0° F that it does at 80° F. Get your car fully serviced before the brunt of winter hits so you can enjoy the colder months without worry.
#5 – Black Ice Wipeout
Just because there’s no snow on the road doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive. Black ice isn’t named for its color but rather its low visibility. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s freezing or below outside, you should assume every wet patch on the road is actually black ice and drive accordingly.
#4 – The 4×4 Snow Fail
Four-wheel drive can be a huge help in the snow but doesn’t mean it can help you stop any better. You have to be aware of the various aspects of 4×4 snow driving and understand the ways your four-wheel system can both help and hinder you in icy weather.
Buying the right 4×4 snow tires, shifting into 2WD when going downhill, and driving at a reduced speed can all help you maneuver your four-wheel car better next winter.
#3 – School’s Out
Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade and let the kids call it a snow day. Many people risk their lives every year trying to go about their daily routines in bad weather. Remember, use your instinct. If you really don’t feel the weather is safe enough to drive in, call out.
School districts and workplaces sometimes fail to consider how fast weather can change. Always stay on top of weather reports and use your best judgment when making any travel decisions in the winter.
#2 – Offroad Excavator
Snow offers a new thrill to many offroad enthusiasts, but even the most skilled adrenaline junkies have to heed caution and do their fair share of research. Winter off-road driving requires skill, safety measures, and a solid knowledge of both the vehicle and area you’ll be exploring.
#1 – The Snow-drifting Speed Demon
This driver learned the hard way that ice and speed don’t mix. Aside from any personal injuries he may have sustained, he also damaged public property and will face legal repercussions for his speed racing.
We know how much fun it can be to take your car out for a spin but always do so in a safe environment where you aren’t breaking any laws or putting yourself and others at risk.
Auto insurance is there to help you year-round. Compare free quotes with your zip code below to find the perfect coverage that will protect you from weather damages, accidents, and anything else life throws your way.