As December gets ever closer there is one thing we can be sure off, the weather is going to make driving pretty dangerous. But for the vast majority of people the school run and getting to work are essential journeys, which just can’t be avoided no matter what the weather is like. So here are some top tips for making driving in the snow and ice as safe as possible.
The busier roads are always the first to get gritted, so plan your journeys around them. On a day to day basis minor roads may save you an extra few minutes on your daily commute, but trying to traverse down a country lane which is covered in snow is the fastest way to find yourself stuck. Although you obviously want to avoid situation like this it’s a good idea to keep a supply of salt in your car just in case. It’s also a good idea to be patient while on the roads, if you are travelling down the motorway don’t be tempted to get into the outside lane and end the journey as fast as possible, find the lane with least amount of slush and ice and remain in previous tyre tracks if possible.
Start gently and avoid high revs when setting off, try to get the car moving when in second gear and ease your foot of the clutch as slow as possible, this will minimise the possibility of wheel spin. Snowy conditions make choosing an adequate speed even more important than usual. Going too fast can result in your wheels losing traction resulting in your car sliding, losing control, and possibly spinning; on the other hand though going too slow can cause you to lose momentum and coming to a halt.
When it comes to braking you want to be gentle, slowing down should be as smooth as possible. Increasing you stopping distance is another top tip, you should think about doubling or tripling the stopping distance you would you use on a dry road. Although braking is necessary try and use the gears to slow down, braking can cause the wheels to lose traction and slide, but if the tyres are constantly turning they will have better grip on the road. If you do lose control try and steer out of the way rather than trying to come to a complete stop. In icy conditions ABS systems should not be relied on, so remember to slow down far more cautiously than usual.
Remember to be courteous to other road users, if snow is falling turn on your fog lights or dipped headlights, but remember if visibility improves fog lights have the potential to dazzle other road users.
This was a guest post by Simon Howarth on behalf of Remote Asset Management, providers of vehicle tracking solutions for businesses of all sizes across the UK.