Although it may look beautiful, driving in snowy conditions is extremely dangerous for motorists and can put you in serious danger very quickly. It is crucial that you prepare yourself and your vehicle before embarking on a journey in the snow.
First of all, we would advise avoiding driving in the snow completely or if possible, use public transport. But we are aware that in some cases driving is unavoidable. Here are some simple tips for driving in the snow so that you and your passengers arrive at your destination safely:
Our Top Tips For Driving In the Snow:
- Plan your route: Stick to the main roads which are safer and more likely to be gritted.
- Clear any snow off the roof of your car: This can easily slide down while driving and block your view.
- Get a full tank of fuel: Then if you do happen to get stranded, you can keep the engine running to keep warm.
- Use dipped headlights: When driving in snow or fog make sure to use your dipped headlights so that visibility is not reduced.
- Listen to the surface: If the sudden crunch of driving on snow stops, you may be driving on ice.
- Drive in a high gear: This reduces the number of revs and will help the wheels to get traction.
- Turn slowly: When cornering, approach the corner very slowly and turn the steering wheel slow and gently. Rapid turning may cause the vehicle to skid.
- Brake gradually: Allow extra stopping distance and slow down gradually. Do not brake suddenly as this may cause the vehicle to slide.
- If you skid: Don’t brake, this may prolong the skid. Take your foot off the accelerator and wait for the skid to stop.
Most garages offer winter safety checks, we would advise that you visit your local service mechanic before November to let them check that your car is winter ready. In the event that you cannot get to a garage before the snow arrives there are some simple checks, you can do yourself.
How to Check if your vehicle is winter ready:
Tyres: Do your tyres have the appropriate tread depth? You may even consider having winter tyres fitted during winter months.
Lights: Are all lights working? Make sure that there is no dirt covering any lights that may affect visibility.
Wipers: Make sure that your wiper blades are not worn so that they will have the ability to clear the windscreen from snow and ice if required.
Windows: Ensure that all windows are clean inside and out. Dirty windows can affect visibility which is very dangerous when driving in winter conditions.
Oil: Check the oil dipstick to see if there is enough engine oil and top it up if necessary.
As well as ensuring the car is physically prepared for the winter, it is recommended you carry some essential items.
- Ice scraper/De-icer
- Phone charger
- Carpet/rubber matting
- Tow rope
- Jump leads
- A shovel
- A spare coat or other warm clothing
- A fuel canister
- A torch
- A map
Carzone - 29-Jan-2019