Safety Tips – Driving in the Snow

The Winter Weather is upon us again, and it doesn’t take long before we all start spinning our wheels and pirouetting off the roads.

So – here’s some extremely basic tips to help you stay safer on the snowy roads.

  • Be Smooth. Drive using all of the controls, the steering, the throttle, the brakes, as gently as possible
  • Read the Road Ahead – it takes 10 times longer to stop in snow – so plan well ahead.
  • Don’t drive in the wellies you’ve just been wearing to clean off your drive – wear comfortable shoes that are less likely to slip off the pedals.
  • Choose a higher gear to pull away – 2nd or even 3rd – to help avoid wheel spin
  • Try to avoid stopping on hills by planning ahead and waiting until it’s clear to drive all the way to the top.
  • Also try to avoid changing gear on slopes.
  • Use your engine to help control speed on descents – avoid using the brakes when driving downhill if possible.

  • If the car skids, release the brakes and de-clutch the engine to help regain control.
  • If you have an auto – choose the manual gears rather than just leaving it in Drive.
  • Ensure you keep a “survival” kit of items in your boot in case you become stuck or stranded.
  • http://www.theaa.com/ has some great tips on what you should carry with you.
  • Leave plenty of space between you and other cars.
  • Avoid changing lanes on motorways as snow can build up between the lanes, making it dangerous to cross over.
  • Ensure all of your windows are cleared before you set off.
  • If you can afford it, invest in some winter tyres which offer better grip and control in snowy conditions. Or consider the cheaper option of snow socks for your tyres.
  • If road and tyre noise becomes extremely quiet – you could be driving on ice – be extra careful and avoid any sharp movements with the controls.

Above all – as well all good self defence strategies, it’s far better to avoid than resolve the problem. So only drive in bad weather conditions if it’s an urgent journey, and avoid these risks completely.

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