Driving your car in snow and ice can be challenging at times. Some vehicles are well suited to winter weather and conditions, whilst others must be driven with a lot more care and attention.
Here are our Top 10 Winter Driving Safety tips to help you stay safe whilst driving in winter conditions:
- Ensure you plan your journey, giving yourself more time than usual to reach your destination.
- Always ensure you have at least half a tank of fuel. Each journey can be unpredictable and the last thing you need to happen is for you to run out of fuel. Even if your car gets stuck in snow, as long as you have enough fuel, this will enable you to run the heater in the car to keep you warm.
- Plan your journey along major routes if possible. These routes are more likely to have been cleared of snow and treated with grit salt.
- Tune your car radio to local radio stations to keep up to date with transport and weather reports in your locality.
- Before beginning your journey, ensure the windscreen and all windows are kept clear. Clean snow from the roof, as this can fall on the windscreen whilst driving.
- Whilst driving, always drive carefully and slowly, no matter how much control you have over your vehicle, driving in adverse weather conditions can always bring an element of unpredictability.
- Ensure you leave enough space between yourself and the vehicle in front. Try to at least double the usual driving distance between vehicles, that you would normally leave.
- If your wheels begin to slip, then ease off the accelerator, the wheels have better traction when they are not slipping. If you do happen to get stuck then dig out the ice and snow from around your wheels with a snow shovel and apply grit salt in the area if available.
- When bringing your vehicle to a stop, always apply the brakes gently to avoid skidding. Remember stopping distances can be up to 10 times longer on snow and ice.
- Over the past two winters in the UK, supplies of rock salt became dangerously low due to the huge demands experienced with the severe weather. Many councils struggled to clear and treat side streets with grit salt, it is advisable in severe snow to stick to major routes and only drive down side streets if absolutely necessary.