Get ready for winter driving over ice and snow, as with the weather about to turn its probably best to remind ourselves of how best to stay safe. Driving over ice and snow can be extremely treacherous. We’re usually advised not to travel if conditions are bad, but if you really must drive in the snow and ice, then ensure that you follow our simple tips below to stay safe.
Before your journey – driving over ice & snow
- Make sure you know your route. Take a sat-nav or a road atlas with you for extra peace of mind. Don’t forget that during the cold weather, roads can often be closed so you may need to divert from your normal route.
- Charge your mobile phone. If you’re unlucky enough to break down, you’ll need it!
- Ensure you have at least blankets, water and some food in your car with you.
- Wear some sensible driving shoes. Make sure that they’re dry too!
- Allow extra time for your journey. It’s much better to arrive early and safe than to try to rush to your destination.
- Make sure that all the windows are clear and that no ice/frost is obstructing your view. This is also a legal requirement!
Driving over ice and snow during your journey
- Sounds obvious, but drive the car gently. Pull away in second gear and avoid making any sudden turns and ease your foot off the clutch.
- If you have to use the breaks, then use them gently. Try to drive at a constant speed and avoid sudden stops or halts.
- Leave lots of room between you and the car in front. Don’t forget that stopping distances are greatly increased while driving over ice and snow.
- If you’re unlucky enough to get stuck, then it’s best to clear the snow from underneath the wheels first. Straighten the steering and then use an old rug to put in front of the driven wheels (to give them some grip) obviously this will be different if the car is front or rear wheel drive! Hopefully you should soon be on your way again.
- Particularly in a morning look out for country roads where there are hedgerows and walls where the sun will not have melted ice, even though the rest of the road looks clear
One more driving over ice and snow tip…. Quieter roads may not have as much grit, and in the current council budget cuts maybe none, so it’s probably wise to stick to main roads.