How To Stay Safe When Driving In The Snow
Staying Safe When Driving In The Snow
When it comes to driving in the snow, many drivers get a shiver down their spines.
With the cold weather chilling the air, it’s time for us to revisit the skills and precautions that a driver must take when driving in the snow and ice.
If there is a way to avoid taking on the challenge of driving in extreme weather conditions, you should defiantly take that chance. However, many of us don’t have the choice as there’s still the school run, venture to work and other priorities that must be done. So, we’ve come up with a few techniques you can use to make sure your as safe as possible when hitting the road in the harsh conditions.
Only drive when crucial
You’re probably thinking this is such an obvious thing to say but it’s something many drivers choose to ignore – but just consider the importance of the journey before you take it. You probably consider running to the shop for some milk so you can have a cup of tea as an important task at the time. Nevertheless, recognise the dangers that could come with taking that “quick” and “simple” trip to the shop.
So, what we’re saying is, just think about having a different drink for the moment and wait until the roads have cleared and the weather has settled down before hitting the roads.
Like I said at the start, some journeys can’t be avoided and must be faced head on. If your one of these people, then there’s more than the drive to consider. What would you do if your drive was cut short due to the weather? As annoying as it is, sometimes things don’t always go to plan.
Some equipment that could be useful to have in your car when the weather isn’t great are:
- Ice scraper
- De-icing spray/salt
- Jump leads
All this equipment can be very useful when in a wintry crisis.
If you’re due to have a long and unfamiliar journey, plan your route and make sure your sticking to major roads and aren’t going on slip roads to make your journey 5 minutes faster. As handy as these roads can be, when facing wintry conditions, it’s best to stay on major roads as they’re most likely to have been gritted and cleared – making them clearer and safer for you to drive on.
Fill your tank for a long journey ahead as if you get stuck in traffic, the engine can help keep you warm – but if you are stuck in a queue for a long period of time, make sure your exhaust pipe doesn’t get blocked as this can cause carbon monoxide to build within your car which could lead to potential fatal situations.
Re-look at your tyre tread depths and make sure you have a least 3mm of tread on them. This is great support for a car on slippery roads. Or, if you wish to be extra cautious then get some winter tyres fitted.
Make sure that all the ice is gone from your windscreen. Many drivers just clear a segment of their screens and go ahead with their journeys, but you should always clear it all. Also, make sure that any snow on your car is cleared as you can get a £60 fine if you drive with snow on your roof. Click here for more information. When clearing your car of snow and ice, stay clear of hot water as this can cause cracking to your windscreen and no level of heating will keep you warm if your windscreen isn’t there! Instead, use de-icing products.
Keep Your Distance
If you think about when you took your driving lessons, you’ll remember being told about increasing your stopping distance in icy conditions. However, if I asked you for the amount your stopping distance must increase by, would you be able to tell me?
Well the answer is acutely by ten times the amount it usually is.
If you drive carefully and smoothly in general, this will also help keep a safe distance from other cars around you.
Dealing With Skidding
If you find yourself on a clear road, away from junctions, it’s a good time to gently tent your breaks and steering to make sure it’ll work perfectly if needed.
If you do find yourself to be caught skidding on the road, you should take your foot off the accelerator and allow your car to get back a steady speed. Don’t jump straight to the breaks as this can prolong the skid. If you start to skid, steer into the directions so the car can straighten up.
If you stick to using these techniques, then you should be okay on the roads. I you have any questions regarding what you have read then give us a call today.