When the weather conditions turn snowy and icy, it is important that you avoid any unnecessary journeys. If car travel is unavoidable, here are some of the things you should do to make sure you stay safe:
Increase your following distance
Snow and ice make it much more difficult to stop. To combat this you should increase the gap you leave between yourself and the car in front. This will afford you the time to react to hazards as they develop.
You can prevent skidding by avoiding slamming on your brakes as this can cause them to lock up. If this does happen, take your foot off the brake pedal and regain control.
Keep your windscreen clear
Visibility during snow can make driving very difficult. This problem can be made worse if your windscreen isnít completely clear to begin with. Invest in a good scraper and de-icer. Make sure the inside of your screen isnít misted up before you set off as well.
Mechanically prepare your car
Before winter arrives you should ensure that your car is up to the task. Your checklist should include:
- Put on your winter tyres if you own them; if not, ensure your current tyres have enough tread and are free of damage
- Check your battery power levels
- Ensure all fluids are topped up to the appropriate level
- Make sure the air filter and spark plugs are in good working order
- Inspect your spare tyre; it should be properly inflated and have enough tread
Prepare your equipment
You should be prepared for the worst to happen. If you do break down in bad weather, a few supplies will help you to stay safe and enable you to carry on with your journey. Prepare a kit, including:
- Jump leads – incase your battery dies
- Tyre chains – these will help provide you with grip in heavy snow
- Salt – If your car gets stuck in snow, salt can help you to free it
- Scraper/de-icer – incase your windscreen freezes over
- Spare winter clothing – to help keep you warm should you break down
Many accidents on the roads in wintertime can be avoided by slowing down. Avoid overtaking unless it is absolutely necessary and use lower gears to help keep traction in the snow.
Do you have any more tips for winter driving? Leave them in the comments below.