The start of 2021, and throughout the last couple of days has seen tremendous but unusual amounts of snowfall across the UK. Although the snow may look beautiful and building snowmen may be great fun, driving in snow and ice is a whole other story and needs highly important safety measures put in place to avoid any accidents. Snow can be tricky to navigate and can be a stressful time for drivers, so we have put together a few up to date tips on how best to deal with snow and ice whilst driving.
Ensure your journey is valid
It may or may not be entirely necessary to drive during heavy snowfall and storms, so it is always important to determine whether or not your journey is urgent enough to be taken during the treacherous weather. We recommend staying off the road if possible for as long as possible to ensure that any clean up crew can get through the majority of your streets to clear the snow. If you decide to leave the house for anything less than urgent, you must weigh up the risks of causing or being involved in an accident due to slipping on the frozen ground.
Keep it slow
This may be common knowledge to most, but driving in the snow at anything more than a slow and steady pace could result in serious accidents, damage or injury. It doesn’t matter if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle or not, driving slow is the smart move. As a rule of thumb along with the slow driving, it is sensible to stay at least the length of 4 cars between each vehicle and avoid driving right next to another car in a separate lane, incase of any slipping.
Avoid braking too hard
Snow covered roads can be scary to drive on, and therefore we may get a little brake happy when trying to drive carefully through the tough conditions. However, if you brake too hard, you are at higher risk of skidding as well as your brakes locking and causing a crash. So, if you are trying to slow your speed down, we recommend pressing your brake on and off very gently over and over until your car slows down to the desired speed or stop.
Use your lights
Lights are your new best friend when it comes to driving in heavy snowfall. Whether it may be 10am or 10pm, you will still benefit from the use of them no matter the time of day during a storm. This will not only make driving in these conditions easier for you, but will also help others around you in making yourself more visible to other drivers. Using high beams whenever possible means more light can reflect more on icy surfaces than it would on dry roads. Although this will help visibility, you need to be aware of the glare from the road surface to ensure you can avoid any slipping. Light from street lamps are also vital to road safety, so it is sensible to keep to the roads that are well lit. The more visible you are, and the road is to you, the safer you will be.
To ensure your utmost safety, it is important to carry out regular checks of your vehicle no matter the weather, but especially during snowy and icy conditions. If anything looks out of the ordinary and you are unsure as to whether it is safe to drive, call your local garage or fitter.