How to Stay Safe When Driving in the Snow
With the nation gripped by ‘The Beast from the East’ as temperatures continue to plummet and snow is upon us, we have put together a few pointers to help you stay safe.
Driving in such treacherous conditions can be frightening, as well as dangerous; so, where possible, avoid driving in the snow and ice. If, however, you need to drive The AA have put together some tips.
Wear dry, comfortable shoes, and ideally put them on when you get into the car to avoid them being clogged up with snow and ice and risking your feet slipping on the pedals.
When pulling away, do so in second gear, and remove your foot slowly from the clutch – this reduces the possibility of wheel spin, and therefore skidding. If you drive an automatic car, check your manual, as some cars have a ‘winter’ mode or suggest putting it in ‘2’ in slippery conditions.
Avoid sudden braking – make sure you brake as slowly as you can. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front, as stopping distances can increase by as much as ten times in snow and ice!
When negotiating hills, leave plenty of room or wait until it’s clear when driving up hill so you don’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear. When going downhill, slow down in plenty of time before the hill and travel down in a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave plenty of room between you and the next vehicle in front too.
If your car does get stuck in the snow, firstly don’t panic! straighten the steering wheel and clear as much snow as you can from the tyres. If you have an old rug or some sacking, place it under the tyres to enable them to get some traction and start moving again.
Leave plenty of time for any journey you need to make, and check your route before you set off. Ensure the front and back windscreens are clear from ice and snow, together with all other windows. You want to make sure that you have clear vision from all directions.
Where possible, stick to major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.