Make driving in the snow safer

JonathanDecember 9, 2013

When taking out a car leasing contract, it’s important that you feel safe when you get behind the wheel. This becomes much more difficult if you are driving a brand new car in the middle of winter as the roads are trickier to navigate safely.

In order to stay safe throughout the Christmas period, it’s important to adapt your driving skills to suit the winter weather. It’s also vital that you ensure your new vehicle is prepared for the more difficult roads every time you head out, and especially if you are going on a long journey.

Preparation Preparing for a safe drive in winter weather begins before you even get behind the wheel. There are a number of checks you need to do before you turn the engine on, but one of the most important is to make sure your tyres are safe. Your winter tyres should have a minimum of 3mm of tread on the tyres. Although this is a little more than normal, the extra tread will allow you to cope better in wet, icy and snowy conditions that you could be faced with as the temperature drops.

There should be a few items that you keep in your car throughout the winter period in case you get stuck in the snow. However, this is useful all year round if your car breaks down. It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit in your car, as well as a couple of blankets, a bottle of water and some biscuits. You could also carry spare screenwash carry around in case you run low as impaired vision can be particularly dangerous on icy roads. This should include a proper additive that prevents the liquid from freezing in sub-zero conditions.

Now you are almost ready to get inside the car, but first you need to make sure you have more than enough fuel to complete your journey and that all the windows and roof are clear of snow and ice.

For many, driving in snowy conditions is not something they look forward to, while for others it is enough to make them cancel their trip altogether. However, there are a number of ways you can make your drive safer and less anxious for you and your passengers.

Speed Speed is key when it comes to driving in the snow. You will need to keep your car going fast enough so that you don’t lose momentum and get stuck but it needs to be slow enough that you are in complete control of the car.

Stopping distance Whether the roads are covered in snow or the weather is just icy, it’s important that you leave plenty of stopping distance. This should be twice or even three times the amount of room that you usually leave between you and the next car. It’s important to do this whenever it feels extremely cold as you can’t always see black ice on the roads.

Braking and steering Braking and steering is one of the most difficult things for drivers in the snow. This is why extra stopping distance between cars is so important. You should only use your brakes when your car is travelling at a very slow speed and use the weight of your car to slow down your vehicle the rest of time as this will prevent skidding.

If you do go into a skid, it’s important to steer into the skid and concentrate on controlling your vehicle rather than trying to stop it. You may find that the ABS fails in your car and you should pump the brakes rather than hitting your foot down on the pedal.

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