Driving in wintery conditions can be really dangerous, follow our simple tips to stay safe if you have to drive. Always ask yourself before anything else…
If you have enough doubt to ask the question, the answer should be no. Many people this winter will choose to drive and regret it.
Reduce the need to drive
Watch the weather forecasts and plan accordingly. If bad weather is due, do the weekly shop early so you don’t find yourself needing supplies and being forced to drive when the weather comes in. If you can, work from home, many employers now allow this.
But I have to drive!
If you have to drive there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of incident, many are actions you
should take as part of the maintenance of your car.
- Check your tyres. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across 75% of the width of the tyre.
- Check and clean your lights and wipers. Remove any snow from the vehicle before setting off.
- Clean your windscreen, windows and mirrors.
- Keep your lights on.
- Check your cars anti-freeze level.
Carry an emergency kit which contains at least an ice-scraper and de-icer, cloths, warning triangle, torch,
blanket and warm clothes, food and drink, a first-aid kit and a map.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Make sure you have more than enough fuel. If you have to stop you will need it to keep warm.
Driving in snow and ice
- Drive only on main roads and only use routes you know.
- Drive slowly and leave at least a 10 second gap between you and the vehicle in front.
- Take regular breaks, intense concentration can be very tiring.
- Avoid hills and winding roads where possible.
- Drive in the highest gear possible and change down earlier when slowing down, brake as gently as possible.
- Steer slowly and smoothly according to your speed.