As many of us have witnessed over the past couple of months, the temperature has been decreasing meaning more ice on the roads as well as our cars. Driving in snow and icy roads can be tricky, not only do you have to drive with caution and care you also need to make sure your vehicle is prepared in the right way. Otherwise, you might be in for a nasty shock, skidding all over the road cannot only cause danger for yourself but also other road users. The last thing you want is to damage or scratch your vehicle because you were not driving correctly for specific weather conditions. So here we are going to give you safe driving tips for icy weather.
Safe driving tips
Recently the UK has been wiped with white snow and crystal grounds. Many of us have taken the plunge and driven to work or to drop the kids off at school, but how many of you have felt the back wheel skidding from underneath you. We would always recommend that if you do not have the right kind of vehicle to be driving in these extreme conditions, then it may be time for you to either stay at home or seeking a form of transport that can get you to your destination safely. If you do feel that you need to venture out there are a few tips and advice we can give you to ensuring you are that bit safer when driving your vehicle.
Before you leave
Preparation is always vital in any situation; we recommend you have the necessary objects in your car that will help you out in tricky situations. A shovel – if you do find that it starts to snow and your car is getting stuck, you can shovel the snow out until you get to a safe place. Always have blankets or extra clothing in the car, if it does become freezing and your vehicle is stuck the last thing you will want to be is cold. You can purchase extra thick throws from World Stores. Water is essential, as we all know we can go hours without eating but we do need water.
Make sure you plan your route and know exactly how to get there. You will want to make sure you minimise the risk of getting lost ongoing in the wrong direction. The main roads are the most likely to be cleared and salted.
You will also need to make some checks on your on your vehicle before you set off. The tyre pressure and tread are going to be two of the most critical items on your car you will want to check. Having the right tyre pressure and tread will make your drive a lot smoother and safer. Halfords provide a two in one device that can test both tyre pressure and tread. The recommended tyre tread for icy and snowy conditions is 3mm.
Many people often forget to put their headlights on, while it may look bright outside you should still keep your headlights on. Don’t assume your headlights are on when your dashboard lights up; cars are different based on the model, you may find that your dashboard lights up even when your headlights are not turned on, so always make this a priority before heading off. Not only does this improve your vision on the road but it also helps other vehicles notice you.
Picking the right lights are also important, you must ensure you do not put your fog lights on unless there is very low visibility. It is recommended that you only turn your fog lights on if you can’t see any further then 100 meters ahead.
Keep your distance
Make sure you have enough distance from the car in front of you; this also goes for turnings and junctions. When driving in the snow or in icy conditions, you will find it takes you a lot longer to come to a stop. A great way to manage your distance is being around 20 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you; if the car is to suddenly stop you can in good time.
Drive with care
Driving in icy and snowy conditions means that you need to take a lot more care when driving then you usually would. Everything will become a lot more sensitive, and you need to be gentler. You will find that controlling your car can become a lot harder; we always suggest that you take off slowly, this will reduce wheel spinning, you will also find that if you try and accelerate too much, you will slip and slide across the road. You should also be extremely careful when taking corners, try your best not to make any sudden movements.
The worst part about driving in the snow and on ice is that more likely than not your car is going to skid, so you will want to know how to drive on it with care. It’s essential when driving in these conditions that you listen out for any noises that may be unfamiliar to you. You might find that generally, your car becomes a little noisier due to ice crumbling under the tyres or snow hitting the wheel arch. You will find that if you can’t hear any noise, you’re likely to be driving on ice, this can be an indicator that you need to either slow down or be extra careful when driving.
If you are thinking of driving in these extreme conditions, we always recommend that you ensure you are prepared and know what you’re doing before you head off. Plan all routes and don’t go down country lanes or roads that are not often used, you will find that these roads are unlikely to have been gritted. Confirm you have the right headlights on, we suggest that you always check, even if your dashboard is lite its not always an indication that your headlights are on.
Drive with extra care, don’t drive to fast and remember the fewer revs, the better control you have. Make sure that you have enough distance between you and the car in front. Stopping distances become longer, the last thing you want is to go into the back of somebody else. There is always going to be more risk when driving in snowy or icy conditions so if you do find yourself in tricky situations make sure you call your insurance provider for information on what to do next. If you have hit something or another car make sure you have your repairs completed by professionals, they will be able to ensure your minor crash repair is of high quality.