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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

How to Stay Cool On Snowy Streets

The deep snow that has covered the streets of Moscow recently has reminded me of some useful skills for driving in the very difficult conditions that a Russian winter presents.


In fact, it's not just the snow that makes Moscow driving dangerous, but the mixture of snow and that special substance which local authorities spread throughout the city to clear the streets. This cocktail is like oil on the roads and makes driving very difficult.


The most important rule is not to drive too fast when it is snowing and, if possible, don't use the car at all. If you must drive, keep in the slow lane.


You should always try to be aware of the situation around you: Keep an eye on all surrounding cars to a radius of about 100 meters. You may be a very experienced driver but a young motorist who has just bought his first car or just received his driving license may lose control over his own vehicle and run into yours.


Don't use the brakes to slow down the car. If you have a manual car, it is much better use the gearbox to do this. Just shift to the lowest gear and use the engine to decelerate. Press on the brake pedal only when you have really reduced speed.


If you find you cannot start quickly at a traffic light, don't panic when other drivers behind you get impatient and start flashing their lights at you to give way. Just try to start the car not from first gear but from second. But remember, don't press down on the accelerator too fast or too hard.


If your car spins out of control, you should keep in mind several simple rules:


If you have a rear-wheel-drive car, don't make any fast movements with the steering wheel. You should turn it in the same direction as the movement of the car. Don't touch the accelerator or the clutch. Engage the lowest gear on the gearbox and the engine will help you.


If you have a front-wheel-drive car you should get into the lowest gear and very carefully press on the accelerator. Make a quick left-right-left movement with the steering wheel to regain your position on the road.


Remember that most accidents take place at complicated junctions, on overpasses and on bridges. So if you have to drive, it is better to avoid such places even if this means taking a longer route.


Also check your tire pressure. It's a good idea to have it a bit lower than normal.