Who knew that we’d be expecting snow before we’ve even finished our Christmas shopping? Apparently, Scotland and Yorkshire have already seen snow this November – and now even Southern England is anticipating some of the white stuff before the week is out. The key to staying safe when you’re driving in bad weather is a little bit of preparation and a lot of calm. Unless your journey is essential, you may find staying at home the best idea of all. When it’s icy, your tyres won’t grip as well as they do when the road it dry and clear. Nothing you do can alter that one simple fact. But, if you must go out, here are our top tips for driving when the weather turns snowy:
– Listen to the local radio before you leave and while you’re driving. Not every road is gritted, and road closures can happen without warning.
– Clear your entire windscreen- and no cheating. You must be able to see the road ahead. Make sure you leave enough time to de-ice, scrape and turn on your heating. Please don’t forget the back windscreen either.
– Use a broom to bush any accumulated snow off the bonnet and roof of your car. It’s common sense really. Having snow blow right into you windscreen as soon as you’ve backed out of the drive will impair your visibility.
– Clean your lights and your number plate.
– Be able to use your mirrors. Keep a handy de-misting pad within reach.
– Keep your distance. In poor conditions, it takes longer to stop. Two second between cars isn’t nearly enough.
– Slow down. Sudden movements can cause your vehicle to skid. Accelerate gradually and use the same caution when you’re braking.
– Slow down gradually when you need to turn. This will limit the chances of skidding.
This is only for starters, the AA offers detailed guidelines that you may want to have a look at. Also, you can check out the Met Office for nation-wide weather information and warnings. Don’t forget that when the storm is over, snow on the road or even water reflecting the sun can dazzle your eyes. Make sure you have a good pair of sunglasses of prescription glasses to protect your eyes.