Stopping distances can be up to 10 times longer when the roads are icy!
Winters cold snap has hit Merseyside, we’re seeing shorter days and increasingly slippery roads. Here’s a few hints and tips from our professionals on how you can Be Road Safe this winter.
So what can you do to drive safer in ice, snow or sleet?
Weather has a huge impact on our vehicles and road surfaces meaning we have to adapt to our surroundings.
Before setting off
Ensure your windows aren’t obstructed, ice, snow, dirt and any other blockages could be the difference between life and death for you or another. Clear your windows until all obstructions are removed and remember to wait until any mist has settled from your windows and you can see clearly before setting off.
Be sure to also clear snow from the roof, braking could cause it to slide onto the windscreen and block your view as you drive or cause a danger to following vehicles – your window wipers may not be strong enough to clear it if it does.
Plan your route, the safest route may not always be the quickest one, check your local councils website or social media to see which roads are gritted.
Some automatic cars have winter settings, check your handbook for more details.
Allow extra time when travelling in winter to give time to check over your vehicle, remove obstructions from your windows and drive to the conditions.
Keep your vehicle running smoothly with POWDERY Checks:
Remember to look for any new damage and the condition of any old damage, it’s your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.
Consider cleaning your lights, with longer nights and an increased chance of snow and rain visibility could be reduced. Ensure you can be seen by giving your lights a wipe down before each journey.
Not feeling well, or on medication that causes drowsiness? Don’t drive.
Reduce your risk of a collision in icy conditions by simply slowing down. Remember it’s a limit, not a target: just because ‘the road’s’ a 30’ doesn’t mean you have to drive at 30, ease off the accelerator, choose the lower gear and make your journey that little bit safer.
Setting off in 2nd gear will give you more control and reduce the risk of tyre spin.
Automatic cars often come with snow or rain modes. These modes may assist you when driving in poor conditions.
Give extra space between other vehicles to allow more breaking time where you can apply the brakes slowly reducing the risk of skidding.
When driving downhill reduce speed as you approach the decent, select a lower gear to give more control and reduce speed using the gears where possible being sure to leave plenty of space to avoid relying on brakes.
If you become stuck in snow, try keeping your wheels straight and clearing snow from around your tyres, be careful when on a hill not to over accelerate and lose control causing the vehicle to move backwards towards traffic to the rear.
If you become stuck in a dangerous area call 999.