As temperatures drops lower and lower in the night, turning rain into slippery ice, mornings and early commutes can become really dangerous as ice becomes the motorists worst enemy. But with some driving tips and advice you should be out of trouble.
Excessive snow is not usually something we need to worry about here in the UK, the combination of rain and freezing temperatures can prove to be a genuine risk on the road especially for unexperienced drivers. Overall ice is a risk whether you are a new driver or an experienced one with years of driving under your belt and no matter if you drive a city car or a 4x4 SUV.
Often times drivers with 4x4 SUVs feel reassured with a high and commanding driving position and with the security of having a 4 wheel drive or with the latest batch with a switchable traction system.
Whatever you are driving, in certain conditions icy roads can be unpredictable and your switchable traction system can be as effective as a front wheel drive car.
However, if you have good care, plan ahead and give your driving your full attention you can make your journey safer.
So without further do, let's get into our 7 tips:
1.Unless it’s something important, don’t drive
If it's an non essential journey, then just postpone it. Driving on the ice can be intimidating for non experienced drivers, especially if a skid should occur. Even if you are a confident driver on ice, on the road not everybody else will be, so the potential of an accident will always be greater in this tricky conditions. In this situations you should always look for alternatives and consider them ahead of driving.
2. Maintain moderate speed
In icy conditions the first thing to do is drive slowly and use small and gentle movements and avoid slamming on the brakes. Another thing to keep in mind is that stopping distances can be increased by a factor of 10 on icy surfaces.
3. Drive gently
If you have a manual or semi automatic car, when setting off try using the second gear instead of the first, this is to avoid overwhelming the tyres. If you are driving down a hill in icy conditions then make sure to reduce your speed by using a lower gear to help you you go slower.
4. Plan ahead
Stick to the main roads which have more likely have been gritted and plan your route ahead. Beware of shaded areas in the road where icy can be present. Try to take bus routes which have been gritted.
5. Prepare your carMake sure your car is prepared and has all the necessary equipment, such as an ice scraper, a warning triangle, warm blankets. Also make sure that your car is ready to go, make sure that all your mirrors are clear before heading off.
6. Know what to do in an emergency
If your car starts sliding, the first thing to do is put the clutch in and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. This will free up the wheels to start turning and this will give a bit of traction in the slide. Have your phone ready with you to call your breakdown provider.
7. Don't get overly confident
Whatever car you may be driving, icy roads can be tricky for everyone so make sure to give your full focus on your driving and on the driving of others. Icy roads can be unpredictable. Be careful at all times.