Winter driving conditions can be notoriously challenging. If you’re planning to hit the roads this winter or you drive on a regular basis, and there’s a risk of adverse weather conditions, hopefully, these tips will help you stay safe.
Light snow can make the roads slippery and unpredictable, while heavy snow tends to make journeys on even the shortest, flattest routes more difficult. If the snow is very heavy and the roads are completely covered, consider delaying or postponing the outing. Unless you have a heavy-duty truck, you’ll find it virtually impossible to get from A to B.
Listen out for weather warnings and take advice from the emergency services, forecasters, and councils related to travel. If you’re advised to avoid driving, stay at home.
If you are heading out in the snow, take extra care when accelerating and decelerating and reduce your speed. It takes longer to decrease your speed on slippery surfaces, and there’s a risk of skidding if you hit the brakes suddenly.
If the snow is thick and you’re struggling to continue moving without slipping around, try not to stop if you can. If you stop the car, it’s much harder to get it going again.
If you are finding it tough, especially if you’re in a hilly area and there are inclines on the road ahead, pull over in a safe place. If you start to slip backwards or you can’t control your steering, this poses a risk to you and other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians.
If you’re embarking on a winter road trip, check the car before you go. Check the tyre pressure, oil and water levels and fill up the tank. It’s a good idea to take warm clothes, a flask and some snacks with you just in case you break down or you need to pull over.
Bear in mind that your stopping distance will increase on icy and wet roads. Keep well back from the car in front of you and give other drivers more time. If you need to slow down, for example, you’re approaching traffic lights, give yourself more time and space to do this.
Try and stick to main roads where possible, if there has been a frost overnight. It’s more likely that dual carriageways and motorways will have been gritted and the surface should be less slippery. Reduce your speed if the surface is icy and use your lights if visibility is poor. Using a high gear is recommended to give you better grip.
If the roads are hazardous and there are weather warnings in place, think about whether you really need to make the journey. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and waiting a few hours or a day or two could help to prevent accidents and injuries.
Driving in winter presents hazards and challenges. If you’re planning a road trip or you drive to work on a daily basis, hopefully, this guide will help you to steer clear of problems on icy roads. Remember that here at Totally Driving, we also offer a range of refresher driving courses, so even if you have passed your test but still find situations like this nerve-racking, we can help. Call us today on 07513 193969 for more information or to book.