Top Tips on Driving in Ice and Snow Driving in Icy Conditions – The Dos and Don’ts
It may or may not be something you have to deal with on a daily basis where you live, but driving in tricky conditions such as ice and snow can be a challenge even for the most experienced driver. Knowing how to handle a variety of road conditions is a good idea and if you know how to take care of yourself in icy road conditions, even better.
Take your Time
When it’s cold and icy, give yourself plenty of time to get ready before you have to leave. Make sure you warm up the engine, de-ice the car, windscreen and windows, so you can see everything clearly. Check all your heating and demisting settings, so you don’t have to worry about it once you’re on the road.
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a driver - it’s never safe to drive at speed, on icy roads. No driver can confidently control a car in icy conditions at speed, and it requires a great deal of concentration and caution combined with slow speeds, to avoid an accident. If it’s possible to stay off the roads in dangerous conditions, it’s best to do so. However if you do have to travel, take it very slowly. It’s better to get where you’re going late than not at all.
It’s a good idea to move up to a higher gear if you have to drive in icy conditions. Higher gears like 2nd or 3rd will give less spin in the wheels and help your tires grip more effectively.
Keep your distance
Just remember, stopping distances are much more on ice and snow – up to ten times more. Be sure and keep a good distance between you and other traffic as well as going a bit slower. If you have to brake, it’s best to do it gently, not too suddenly, and you’ll be less likely to lose control.
Stay calm and don’t over-correct
If you find yourself in a skid situation, stay calm! Whatever you do, don’t apply the brakes. Resist the urge to break, and put your foot on the clutch instead, if you’re driving a manual. Go in the direction of the skid, and as you slow gradually try to straighten up – no sudden moves.
It’s best to avoid dangerous driving conditions, but if you do find yourself on icy roads, just remember to stay calm, slow down and follow these handy tips. Slower speeds, higher gears and plenty of concentration without the panic is essential to staying in control.