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How To Stay Safe Driving In Icy Conditions

Empty icy road with trees partly hidden by mist and fog

As we get further into the winter and temperatures are dropping each day, the chance of snow and ice increases. Unfortunately, a more challenging and potentially dangerous time for drivers comes with this.

Accidents increase by 20% during the winter (Source: Insure The Box), meaning you must take extra care and put precautions in place to ensure you can make your journey as safe as possible in icy conditions.

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, take precautions if you cannot do so. Check weather reports and road conditions before you set out.

Clear All Windows And Mirrors

Before 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 temperature may cause cracks to occur in your windows. Instead, use de-icer and an ice scraper to remove ice. Alternatively, cover the glass with a sheet of cardboard to prevent freezing from happening.

Drive Carefully

When driving in icy conditions, ensure you drive slower 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 in the best conditions, so again, drive slower than usual.

Increased Stopping Distance

The necessary stopping distance increases to ten times greater than driving on dry roads when driving on ice. Because of this, make sure you keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the car in front to minimise the risk of accidents should any skidding or sudden breaking occur.

Essential Items

Before you set off on your journey, pack the essentials. The weather can be unpredictable, meaning that your trip could be as well. 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.

All data correct at time of publication.