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Planet Blog > December 2010 > Winter Driving Tips

Obviously the best advice for winter driving would be to avoid going out at all if you can help it!  Of course this is not always practical and seeing as so many of us rely upon our cars for transport, it is usually inevitable that at some point we are going to have to have to scrape the snow and ice off our cars and make a journey.  As we see the temperatures plummeting and frequent bouts of snow and ice, how confident do you really feel to make a journey in your car in hazardous conditions? Read through this handy guide and hopefully you will pick up some tips to make your journey safer and more comfortable.

Winter Driving

Before setting off

Preparation is key here.  Make sure your car is in good mechanical repair, the oil and water is at an optimum level, you have windscreen wash fluid and you have checked the condition of your tyres and pressures.

It is advisable to keep a box in the boot, containing some winter essentials such as an ice scraper and de-icer.  If you are desperate for an ice scraper, a good workaround is to use a card out of your wallet, such as a supermarket loyalty card.  It would also be good practice to keep a few items in the boot that would be most useful if you were to suffer a breakdown or get stranded, these could include:

•    Bottles of water for drinking
•    Chocolate bars and other non-perishable snacks
•    Blanket
•    Warm coat / hat / gloves
•    Torch and spare batteries
•    Jump leads
•    Shovel

Before setting off in the car, make sure you have cleared the windscreen, back screen and mirrors of snow and ice, so you have good visibility all around you. Also wait for any fog to clear on the screen within the car. If you don’t have a mobile phone on you, consider keeping a cheap pay-as-you-go handset in the car in the event of any emergencies.

Driving in snow and icy conditions

1.    Drive SLOWLY, be ALERT and stay in CONTROL.  (SAC)
2.    Select 2nd gear to pull away, ease your foot off the clutch gently which will avoid wheel spin.
3.    Stopping distances are greatly reduced in icy conditions so leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
4.    Brake gently to avoid skidding.  Ease off the brakes if you can feel a skid coming on.
5.    When driving up a hill, try to avoid stopping if you can by anticipating a clear run up it or leaving enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front, in the hope that you won’t need to stop.
6.    When driving down a hill, try to reduce speed before you make the journey down, use a low gear and try to avoid braking.  Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front.
7.    Make all manoeuvres such as accelerating, braking and changing gear as gently as possible to avoid any skidding or the wheels locking.

Posted: 12/7/2010 11:48:42 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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