Safety Tips For Driving In The Snow
The last few weeks have seen a lot of snowfall that the UK isn’t usually used to. Although the sledging and the snowmen building has been great fun, the snow causes major issues for those driving on the road. So, to ensure your utmost safety, we have put together a few reminders and tips on how to keep yourself and others safe out in the snow this winter.
Is your journey necessary?
When the weather conditions are dangerous with icy and snow-covered roads, it is highly important to assess the urgency of your planned journey. If you are just planning on going for a drive or to get a takeaway coffee, the risk may not be worth taking. We recommend only travelling in the snow for essential journeys only. This not only keeps the roads clearer for other drivers travelling essentially but also gives the road clearers time to shovel up the snow and clear the roads. Each time you step into your car in adverse weather conditions, it is a good idea to ask yourself if your journey is worth the risk of a potential accident or slipping injury.
Turn your lights on, even in the day time
Lights are your best friend when it comes to driving in severe weather conditions, especially in the snow. Whether it is 10am or 10pm, your lights will not only help with your own visibility on driving but will make other drivers aware of your presence on the roads as well. We suggest that when possible, using your high beams. Light beams tend to reflect more than usual on icy surfaces. Although this is helpful, you must keep an eye out for glare on the road. This will reduce the risk of slipping.
Avoid braking too hard
In snowy and icy conditions, we can tend to get a little brake happy when trying to stop or slow our vehicle. If you rely on one hard brake, you are at much higher risk of an accident from slipping and sliding on the frozen surface and possibly crashing into another car or inanimate object. What we suggest is when you wish to slow down, gently press your brake on and off over and over again until you come to a slower speed or steady stop.
Avoid using cruise control
This should be an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many people take advantage of this feature even in dangerous weather conditions. Although a favourite feature for motorway drivers, in the snow, it may mean you miss some unexpected changes to the road or your vehicle’s traction on the road. This small but significant delay in being able to act on the change of traction can result in your vehicle slipping out of control.
Probably most important of all, once assessing how essential your journey is, is slow down! Speeding at full speed down frozen snow-covered roads is asking for an accident to happen. It doesn’t matter if you have an all-wheel drive, not slowing down is not smart. A rule of thumb to follow in these weather conditions is to stay at least 4 car lengths away from the vehicle in front of you. This space allows you some room if you were to slip. It is also a good idea to never drive right next to another vehicle when in on a multi-lane road. This will also reduce the risk of any crashes from happening by cars sliding into each other.
Before leaving your home, it is always important to carry out regular checks on your vehicle, especially your tyres. If you are unsure if your vehicle is safe to drive, let alone in the snow, call your local garage or fitter for expert advice.