How to drive on snow and ice

wintry conditions

From January to April, it tends to be the coldest few months, along with being the victim of bad weather. This weather may include torrential rain, slippery ice or heavy snow, so it’s always best to be prepared if worst comes to worst.

When driving in these conditions, make sure that you’re making a journey which is absolutely necessary due to the high danger levels. If you’re able to avoid the journey, then do, especially if you’re a nervous driver.

Prepare your car
1. Make sure your wipers are in full working order. If not, get them checked out as soon as you can.
2. The screen wash needs to be fully topped up before a journey.
3. Before setting off, make sure all your lights are working and clean.
4. Anti-freeze is always a good, cheap purchase. If you’ve got the time, try and get your hands on some as it’s completely worth it.
5. Finally, before setting off, make sure all windows are clear of any ice or snow.

Top Tips

  • With this type of weather comes a lack of control the driver has over the car. To keep the control, start in second gear and stick to higher gears when driving.
  • This is possibly stating the obvious, but speed needs to be kept right down – but not too slow.
  • Stopping distance is going to increase significantly, so keep a gap 10x bigger than the usual gap space you’d leave during dry weather conditions.
  • Whilst driving in heavy snow, make sure that you’re using your dipped headlights. If visibility drops below 100m, then switch on your fog lights.
  • Your tyres are a key part of travelling. There’s a myth which tells you that if you let air out of your tyres, you’ll get a better amount of grip – but this is false. 3mm of tread is recommended for your tyres and if you’re unsure on how to check this, a quick and easy way is the 20p test.
  • Winter tyres are a great investment if you’re located somewhere which often is targeted by severe weather.
  • Travelling downhill can be daunting, especially on ice or in snow. It’s always best to approach the hill slowly and to try and avoid using your brakes. To do this, use a lower gear and leave a lot of room to the car in front just in case.

An in depth look at winter tyres

Winter tyres have been mentioned previously in the top tips, but what actually are they? Are they worth the money?

The ultimate aim of winter tyres is to improve traction in slippery conditions. The majority of cars in the UK are fitted with summer tyres or all-season tyres, but they lack in the wintery weather. Winter tyres have been designed specifically to be used in the colder, icier and snowy conditions (below 7 degrees) and are made from a soft rubber compound. The difference between winter tyres and summer tyres are that winter tyres feature little jagged slits, which are also known as sipes in order to provide more grip.

Winter tyres are available to buy from a range of different stores or on-line. The cheapest price you’ll find is around £50 per tyre for a family hatchback. If you’re in need of a family hatchback this winter, check out some of the best car finance deals around the Lancashire area. If your credit isn’t the best and you’re worried about getting accepted, there are a range of car finance deals available for bad credit.


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