Driving in the snow

Looking for advice on how to drive in the snow safely and doing all the right things in preparation for your journey? You in the right place, here are a few things you should do before heading out in the snow.

Plan your journey

Pull up the RAC Route Planner to get updates on the traffic and all the important details to make your journey go smoothly. Plan your journey carefully before even getting into your car. Try and avoid place that are prone to flooding and that are expose to the harshness of the weather. Make sure to keep up on your local weather in case something changes.

Leave more time

Give yourself extra time than you normally would so you can clear your windows, mirrors, lights and the top of your car, because driving with snow on your car could be seen as breaking the law. Make sure to also clear the outside and inside of your windscreen because its illegal not to be able to see through all your windows. Its also possible that your locks get frozen, if this does happen try spraying it with de-icer or warming the key up. The things I’m going to go on to tell you will also be time consuming so include these in the time you give yourself.

Clean your wipers

Be sure to check if your auto wiper control is switched off before turning your car on, if it is on it can cause to blow your wiper control fuse as they may be frozen to your screen.  Always keep your wipers in working order so you can clean your windscreen properly.

Check your tires

Before heading off check your tyres for the suitable tread. If you have poor tyres your car will not grip when driving on ice or snow. If you live in an area where it snow is common changing your tyres to winter ones may be a good idea. When the weather is really bad you should thing about snow socks or even snow chains.

Check your screen wash

You should always get a good quality screen wash that will protect you to at least -35. This will prevent the water from freezing. Your windscreen could be seen as useless in really bad conditions if you don’t.

Pack for the worst

Always be prepared for any possible event that could happen. Make sure your car always has these following items:

  • Demisting pad
  • Wind up torch
  • Blanket
  • Hi-vis
  • Food and water (take when you get into the car)
  • De-icer
  • Phone charger
  • Jump leads
  • Shovel
  • Map
  • First aid kit

One of the most important things to have on you when setting out in the snow is a charge phone so you can ring a breakdown provider or someone that can come help you.

Actually driving in the snow

Here are a some things you should do when driving in the snow.

  • Wear comfortable footwear
  • Don’t press on the accelerator hard, press gently.
  • Use low revs and change up to higher gear as fast as you can
  • Start off in second gear because it will help reduce your wheel slip
  • Go the speed limit and leave safe stopping distance between you and car in front.
  • Leave as much as 10 times of the normal recommended gap
  • Prepare to go uphill by leaving lots of room in front of you so you can maintain speed without need to change gear
  • Go into a low gear when going downhill to avoid having to break unless it’s necessary.
  • If your approaching a bend, brake before tuning the steering wheel.
  • If car loose grip doesn’t panic, take foot of accelerator
  • Point your wheel the direction you want to go in
  • If you start to skid, steer into it gently . DON’T take hands of the wheel or hit the brakes hard.
  • Driving in heavy snow use your dipped headlights, use fog lights until you get good visibility
  • None gritted roads are more likely to have other vehicles tracks left in them so try avoid them because they’ll be more icy
  • Keep your speed on the lower side and let yourself more time to stop and steer

You should know about the environment that your driving in. Be careful when you’re driving in open spaces. Also be aware even if the rest of the roads have thawed there will be place where the sun hasn’t hit yet, for example bridges are normally always the last to thaw.

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