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Don't get stuck! Learn how to drive through snow banks and deep snow.

How to Drive Through Snow Banks and Deep Snow :: Don't Get Stuck


Closed Caption


(upbeat music) - Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test.

We had a huge dump of snow here in Vernon in the last few days, I mean a lot of snow.

We probably have 18 inches of snow on the ground.

The plows haven't quite been out yet because it's a holiday weekend here.

It's going to be New Years Eve and I'm just going to go out and I'm going to show you how to drive in deeper snow.

So stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

(upbeat music) Hi there smart drivers, welcome back.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about driving in deeper snow when you get it piled up at the end of a lane way and what not.

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Now driving in deeper snow, as I said in the introduction, we've had a lot of snow here in Vernon in the last few days and it's overwhelmed the plows because it's the holiday weekend.

Last weekend was Christmas, this weekend is New Years.

And because of that they are concentrating their efforts on the main roads, so know that.

That's what they're doing and as well I can guarantee you that these maintenance crews have not slept in 36 hours or 48 hours, some of them are going pretty hard.

So know that.

Now what I want to show you today is driving in deeper snow.

You can see here in the dash cam that this roadway has not been plowed.

And so you're going to be driving in deeper snow.

It's going to push you around a little bit.

If you're on multi-lane roads you're going to have a bit of...

A pile of snow between the two lanes of traffic.

You can see here, in the dash cam, in front of me there's a snowbank here.

Now this is very important.

You need to get a bit of a run at that.

So you need to make sure you need to stop back and you need to make sure there's no traffic coming and you need to get a run at that before you go through that.

Because if you just go through that and you stop, you're probably going to get stuck.

So you need to make sure there's no traffic coming and we get a bit of a run at it.

And you see I shifted into second gear there to get over through that because if you don't do that, that's what's going to happen, you're going to get stuck.

So same thing, we're going to run up here to the alleyway and we're going to go into the alleyway.

Now the alleyway's not going to be too bad because I've already been in it.

You want to move left so you have a bit of a run at it and try and get the vehicle straight into that, that way it's not going to push you around as much.

Get my gear and I go into the pile of snow, the snowbank, and get across the snowbank.

This is similar for those of you in Australia, in Brisbane and Queensland and places like that and other places where you drive out onto the beach to drive along the beach and have your beach party.

Getting across the soft sand, it's going to push you around.

In the deep snow, it's exactly like that.

It's like soft sand with a four-wheel drive, trying to get through that.

If you're driving an automatic just moderate throttle, okay.

Just control the throttle and again it's snow there and you can see you got decent tires on the truck so we can just keep going here.

All right, so we're going to go one more place and so you can see it's going to push you around a little bit.

So don't get your speed too high.

Just know that the snow is going to push you around a little bit.

All right, so we've got the snowbank here.

We can see the snowbank, we're just going to pull up far enough so we can see clear on both sides.

The traffic's not coming, now we get a bit of a run at that and we don't stop once we're committed.

Because if you stop, you are going to be stuck.

I can almost guarantee you because what happens is is the snow is so deep that your vehicle is going to hovercraft.

The snow is going to lift up the middle between the wheels.

And especially if you're driving a car that doesn't have a very high clearance and it's just going to hovercraft over that and if you stop and don't have that forward momentum you're probably not going to get your car going again.

And you're probably going to get stuck.

So make sure that you got a bit of momentum and you keep the vehicle moving.

And be especially careful at intersections when it's like this because you cannot guarantee that other vehicles are going to come to a stop.

So take your time, here's a good one.

Okay, so I got my, and I'm going.

I've got my foot on the throttle and I bang through it okay.

And know that it's going to push you around a little bit but if you're not going too fast you're probably going to be all right.

And you can see here there's a fair bit of snow on the road as well and it's kinda pushing me around.

I'm staying in the tracks a little bit.

Okay, down into second gear.

Oh great.

(laughs) And this is the other thing, this person can't make it up the hill in front of me so they're backing up.

You can see their reverse lights.

So I am just going to give them space so I'm just going to go down here and I'm going to back up in the corner and just turn around.

I was going to try and make it up there and show you how to do that, actually screw it, let's go.

Okay, up the hill is another good one driving in deep snow.

You want to be in to second gear here.

And you can see I've got momentum here and I don't let off the momentum.

You can see now I'm starting to go down hill.

So now I've got gravity, but that's what you got to do.

You got to get a bit of a run at it and don't let off.

(laughs) It's going to move around, just let the throttle off real quick and then back on the throttle because as soon as you let the throttle off and the tires stop spinning and regain traction, then back on the throttle.

So really briefly off the throttle, and then back on the throttle and hit it again.

That's what happens when you start to lose a little bit of control in deep snow.

Just off the throttle and then hit it again.

Because as soon as you stop the tires from spinning, it's going to regain traction and it's going to go again and it's going to straighten out.

So that's what you got to do, you got to manipulate the throttle while you're doing that.

Okay, and again I don't want to get up here too close.

And I'm just sneaking up and now I'm going.

Now I'm committed.

And you can see on a manual transmission I'm shifting into second there as soon as I get a little bit of go because I get more torque to the wheels and it reduces the spin on the wheels.

So the faster you can get into a higher gear the less likely the wheels are going to spin.

You can see the Dodge here having trouble with the two-wheel drive.

All right, so we're going out what used to be called Suicide Hill here in Vernon.

It's a very steep hill but you can see that they've kept it really salted.

(laughs) Otherwise vehicles spin out on the hill there.

So this is almost bare and there's a reason it's almost bare because they put an enormous amount of salt on it for cars coming up there so they don't spin out.

Because people get spun out on the hill and then they don't know how to back up down the hill and they get into trouble so they try and keep it clear.

So again, we're into the snow here.

And you can see the big pile of snow right at the end here.

They piled it up with the snowplow so you just don't stop, just bang into that.

And we're back into the deep snow because they haven't plowed the residential roads in the neighborhoods and suburban areas and what not.

Because they're concentrating all of their efforts on the main roads, to get those cleared and keep those cleared for the holidays.

And the other thing you got to be careful there, I don't know whether you saw that in the dash cam or not, I didn't see it until I hit it because of the white color, was some homeowners will plow their snow out into the roadway and that's essentially what the person did was they plowed their snow out into the roadway and I hit it and there's another one.

All right, so this is going to be a bit tricky here because we're going uphill.

And there we go, and you see that I didn't stop.

I just kept going because if I'd stopped I would've got stuck in the snow there.

So make sure that you keep your foot on the throttle and keep a bit of momentum in the vehicle otherwise you're going to get stuck.

And gravity's either going to help you out or it's going to be a liability one way or the other.

So just know that if you're going up hill you're going to need more of a run at it because gravity's going to hold you back and make it tougher for you to get through the deep snow.

If you're going downhill you won't need as much momentum to go forward because gravity's going to help you.

So think about that too while you're driving in deep snow, uphill, downhill.

And you saw when I went up the hill there I needed a fair bit of throttle to get the vehicle to go up the roadway.

Quick review of driving in deep snow.

Know that in the winter time if there's a lot of snow all at once, the crews are going to be overwhelmed.

They're going to focus their attention on the main roads.

The residential streets are going to have banks of snow that they've plowed across the front of them and you're going to have to get through that.

Because if you don't get through that with a bit of momentum your vehicle is going to hovercraft over top of that.

Essentially the snow is going to build up underneath the belly of your vehicle.

It's going to lift it off the ground and if you don't have enough forward momentum you're going to get stuck.

So know that you got to have a bit of momentum when you go through that deep snow.

And also pay attention to uphill, downhill because that's going to impact how much throttle you're going as well.

And when you saw going up the hill there, when you're going up the hill and there's lots of snow and it could potentially be slippery give it lots of throttle.

If it starts to deviate left or right, take your foot off the throttle and then hammer back down on the throttle again.

Because as soon as you take your foot off the throttle it's going to regain traction and then go again.

But you don't want to lose that upward momentum.

So you got to kinda work the throttle.

Question for my smart drivers.

Have you got stuck in deep snow because you're vehicle has hovercraft over a bank of snow and lifted up the middle of the vehicle? Leave a comment down on the comment section there.

All of that helps out the new drivers working towards getting their license or veteran drivers working to be crash free.

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I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching, good luck on your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye now.

(upbeat music) Put some heat on my toes here, (laughs) it's cold.

And I'm sure the Go Pro's doing all right there on the side of the car, it's pretty cold out there.

(upbeat music)

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