Although twinkling icicles and fluffy snow may look idyllic, the icy weather makes road conditions more treacherous and breakdowns more common. Here’s our guide to driving in the winter…
Wear comfortable shoes
It’s important when you’re driving that your soles can feel the pedals, so that you can adjust the pressure and stay in complete control without slipping. Wear comfortable, dry, well-fitting shoes, or better still, keep a pair in the car to change into when you’ve been trudging through the snow, ice and puddles.
Adjust your stopping distances
According to the road safety charity Brake, stopping distances can double in the wet and increase 10-fold in snow and ice.
Be sure to leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can brake gently if needed, rather than slamming on and risking a skid.
Pull away in second gear
When pulling out of a space, use second gear to make sure you have a grip of the road and ease your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
Tackle hills at a constant speed
You could be tempted to tackle steep hills in stages; stopping and starting as you progress up or downwards. Instead, leave plenty of room (ideally waiting until there are no cars in front that could slide back down), and go at a constant speed, in the same low gear until you reach the top or bottom.
Pack an emergency kit
You may be well-prepared for breaking down, but that’s not to say you won’t encounter a lorry jack-knifing or a collision blocking the motorway. Keep an emergency kit in your car just in case, including…
Prepare your car
Have your battery checked by a professional, and if it’s on its last legs then replace it. It will be a lot less hassle than having to get a jump start on a dark, cold night.
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