Our ‘Top 10 Tips’ for driving on snow and ice
- Before setting off, make sure the windows are clear of snow and ice and check that your tyres are in good condition with at least 3mm of tread. The deeper the tread – the better the grip!
- When driving off on snow or ice, do so very slowly and in second gear to prevent the wheels from spinning. Try and keep the revs low by changing into a higher gear as soon as possible.
- Drive at a steady pace that you feel comfortable with, but not too fast that you risk losing control. By driving in a higher gear than you normally would at a certain speed, you will be able to keep your revs down.
- Think ahead, to avoid making any sudden decisions such as braking too hard or accelerating too quickly. Accelerate slowly and brake gently!
- If you do have to use the brakes, try to avoid stopping completely. It will be much easier to start off again if you keep the wheels turning and don’t lose momentum.
- Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front, you may have to leave as much as ten times more than in normal conditions.
- Try to stick to the major roads and those that you know will have been gritted. There is a much better chance of those being kept clear of ice and snow.
- Never attempt to brake on a bend as this is when you are most likely to lose control and start sliding. Always try to brake in a straight line wherever possible. If you should find yourself skidding or sliding, be prepared to ease off the brakes and accelerator, and steer into the slide until you have the vehicle back under control.
- ABS brakes will help to prevent you skidding and bring the car safely under control in slippery conditions. If you don’t have ABS on your vehicle, then be prepared to ease off the brakes in order to steer more accurately.
- If you do find yourself stuck in snow with your wheels spinning, it is possible to get moving again by rocking the car gently backwards and forwards using the gears. If this fails then you will probably have to resort to digging away the snow from the around the wheels. For this reason, if you regularly drive in areas with heavy snow, it is always a good idea to carry a folding shovel or snow chains/socks in the vehicle.
For more tips and advice on winter motoring, visit the ‘Expert Advice’ section on our website: http://www.drbcarspares.co.uk