Beast from the East...
As the Beast from the East is threatening to hit us Southerners tomorrow, check out the following top tips for driving in snowy conditions:
- Wear comfortable and dry footwear.
- Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible.
- Move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip - some cars have a winter mode, which does the same job – so to check whether your car has this function in the vehicle’s handbook.
- Get your speed right and maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front, leaving as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap.
- Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear.
- Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary, make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front.
- When approaching a bend, brake before you actually start to turn the steering wheel. If your car does lose grip try not to panic; the key thing is to take your foot off the accelerator and make sure that your wheels are pointing in the direction you want to go in
- If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it - for example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, steer to the right. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes.
- When driving in heavy snow, make sure that you use your dipped headlights. Relying on daytime running lights is not enough, because they don’t always put lights on the back of your car.
- If visibility drops below a 100m, put your fog lights on. But remember to turn them off when the visibility improves.
- If the road has not been gritted, be wary of driving in the wheeltracks of other vehicles as compressed snow is likely to be more icy than fresh snow.
- Controls such as the brakes, as well as the steering, accelerator and even gear changing should be operated smoothly and slowly.
- Sunglasses can help to reduce the glare of low winter sun on the snow.
- Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer.
Also check out these handy tips from the RAC on how to de-mist your windscreen super quick in this weather!