Rule 1 = Don't drive in bad weather unless you absolutely have to.
Driving in wintery conditions is difficult and can be dangerous. Follow these simple steps to stay safe on the roads.
If you have to drive, perform these quick checks to ensure your car is fit for icy conditions.
Before you set off;
Your driving begins before you turn the key. So follow these steps to make sure you stay ahead and stay safe.
Your lights not only help you see where you're going, but that you're visible to other drivers on the road. So ensure you check your lights to make sure they're all working.
Plan Your Journey
Check for weather warnings, set up your sat nav and familiarise yourself with the route.
Have Breakdown Cover
Make sure you taken out breakdown cover whatever the weather but especially if you are going to be driving in icy conditions, having someone to come and get you if something happens will make life much easier.
Use Major Roads
Unlike country lanes, most major road will be gritted, which means safer driving conditions.
Give yourself time to clear all windows of ice as this improves your visibility of the road.
Top up your screen wash & anti-freeze - take 2 minutes to pop the hood and take a look.
They should not squeak, skip or smear the windscreen.
Car battery ( 5+ year old vehicles)
Is this journey worth taking? Can you postpone it until the roads are clear? Put simply, if you don't drive, you wont get caught in the traffic or anything worse.
On the road;
Leave plenty of room from the car infront
Remember your theory test? The stopping distance in snowy and icy conditions increases to 10 seconds. Allow time to stop should anything happen in front of you.
Using your breaks
Drive smoothly, apply your breaks slowly and gently to avoid skidding and losing control of the car.
If you start to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator and turn into the skid (if the car is skidding to the the left, slowly turn your steering wheel to the left). Be sure not brake when skidding as this will make things worse.
Use dipped headlights as visibility can be low. However, avoid using fog lights unless visibility is under 100 metres, as your light could dazzle other drivers.
Remember - always stay alert when driving in difficult conditions and stay aware of your surroundings. Also pack car jump leads so you're prepared in the worst case scenario. Consider further ways to prepare your car ready for the winter driving.