Seven dos and don’ts for driving in ice and snow – how many do you know?
THE UK is set to be hit with snow and ice as the nation brace’s itself for a spell of freezing cold weather.
And with the roads getting busier and more congested, here’s a few pieces of advice that could help keep keep you safe this winter.
On November 27, 2021, The Met office revealed that parts of the UK is set to be be hit with “prolonged periods” of snowfall that could last throughout the winter months.
The general public have been told to plan journey’s carefully and keep up-to-date with local weather reports amid a number of helpful tips for travelling in challenging conditions.
It includes a guide from LeaseCar.uk, who have revealed the seven do’s and don’ts for driving in icy weather
From checking the tread on your tyres to driving in the right gear, this simple advice can help you battle through tough conditions.
And make sure you don’t fall victim to a few winter driving myths.
Everyday mistakes like braking and turning into a skid when your car is out of control can prove fatal for all drivers.
Things you should always do when driving in snow and ice
- Before even jumping in the car, you can improve your chances of safely getting to your destination with some basic preparation. Checking the air pressure and tread on your tyres is something most drivers often forget to check, but the mistake can prove fatal during slippery conditions. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but experts recommend it should be at least 3mm to be as safe as possible.
- If you know your going to need to drive in the morning, soak a few towels in salt water and place them on your windscreen the night before to prevent frost building up.
- You should also remove any ice on your mirrors, number plates and windows before taking off. And remember, snow and ice sitting on the roof can fall and block your windscreen, so clear as much as possible before driving.
- It might seem over the top, but packing a bag of emergency supplies will be handy if your car breaks down or if you’re stuck in a blizzard. A warm blanket, snacks, water and a torch can make a long wait on the roadside bearable.
- Always allow greater stopping distances in icy conditions, and stay alert for pedestrians who are braving the cold.
- Driving in a higher gear wherever possible can help you to retain control where road surfaces are treacherous.
- Having an old cloth nearby can also come in handy to remove any mist from your windscreen before it turns into ice.
And those you should avoid
- If you come across black ice, many drivers will hit the brakes and steer into a skid as they start to lose control – but that can be a dangerous move for in-experienced drivers. Instead, slowly take your foot off the accelerator and straighten up as your vehicle rides it out.
- Accelerating and braking too quickly is a recipe for disaster in icy conditions. Be sure to take it slow when turning and avoid any overtaking.
- It might seem urgent at the time, but it’s important not to take unnecessary journeys when it’s icy.
- If you do need to go somewhere, don’t take an unfamiliar route as road signs are likely to be covered in snow and phone reception could be limited.
- Some drivers rely on pouring boiling water over a frozen windscreen to remove ice, but it’s more than likely to crack the glass. Investing in a decent ice scrapper or de-ice spray can work just as well and will protect your windscreen.
- Don’t take any shortcuts and stay off rural roads as these might not have been cleared, and are often challenging even in warm weather. Stick to main roads as much as possible.
- Finally, don’t forget to top up your oil, fuel and screen-wash before every winter trip.
Tim Alcock of LeaseCar.uk said: “Taking a trip on the roads in icy conditions is never ideal at the best of times, so motorists should make sure they’re properly prepared and don’t make it any more difficult than it already is.
“Of course, the most important advice we can offer is, if the journey isn’t totally necessary, leave the car on the drive and forget about it, at least until the weather improves.
“Sometimes though, drivers have no other option but to brave the worst winter has to offer, to get to where they need to be.”
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