Every year as we get further into the winter and temperatures are dropping each day, the chance of snow and ice increases. With this comes a more challenging and potentially dangerous time for drivers. Travelling in icy conditions means extra care needs to be taken and precautions put in place to ensure you can make your journey as safely as possible.
Only Drive If/When Necessary
If possible, during periods of bad weather travel, only when travel when necessary. Using public transport is the safer way to do so, however, if you are unable to do so, take precautions. Check weather reports and road conditions before you set out.
Clear All Windows And Mirrors
Prior to heading off, make sure that you have fully cleared all windows and mirrors of any ice or snow that may have settled. Not only can snow and ice limit what you can see as you drive, but snow may fall from your car while driving and into the path of other road users – increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Never Use Boiling Water
It’s never a good idea to use boiling water to melt any ice on your car. Though it may seem like the quickest way to do so, the sudden change in temperate may cause cracks to occur in your windows. Use a de-icer and an ice scraper or alternatively, cover the glass with a sheet or cardboard in order to prevent freezing from occurring to begin with.
When driving in icy conditions, ensure you drive at a slower speed and in a higher gear. Accelerate and brake gently to avoid skidding on the ice. When taking corners or driving on bends, it’s easier to lose control even if the best conditions, so again, drive slower than usual.
Increased Stopping Distance
When driving on ice, the necessary stopping distance increases to ten times greater than when driving on dry roads. Because of this, make sure you keep a good distance between yourself and the car in front to minimise the risk of accidents should any skidding or sudden breaking occur.
Before you set off on your journey, pack the essentials. The weather can be unpredictable, meaning that your journey could be also. Pack water, snacks and a blanket in case you become stuck and always have a fully charged mobile phone and the charger in the glove compartment in case of emergencies.
The winter weather can have an impact on more than just driving conditions. Find out How To Keep Your Boiler Working This Winter.