5 expert tips to remind drivers how to keep safe on UK roads this winter including how to correct a skid
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That time is coming around again when drivers need to get up a few minutes earlier so they can defrost their cars before setting off in the morning. But it’s not just the early mornings that are the problem, roads can be dangerous in the dark, wet and icy weather that the winter brings.
Forecasters have predicted the UK’s first snowfall of the season will take place within the next fortnight with temperatures set to drop to -2°C. So to help drivers prepare for the poor road conditions, Bill Plant Driving School, offering driving lessons across the country, has given some top tips on how motorists can prepare for the winter.
Whether you often find yourself driving home in the dark, rain or snow, or just want a reminder on how to keep safe, these handy tips are perfect for anyone who will be driving through the colder months.
5 winter driving tips all motorists need to be aware of
1. Think about your stopping distance.
When a road surface becomes slippy, it makes a vehicle unable to break as quickly as it would be able to on a dry surface. For this reason, you should leave a gap between you and the car in front up to 10 times the normal recommended braking distance. Ensure you give yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop.
2. How to correct a skid on ice.
If a vehicle skids on ice, the person behind the wheel can often panic, which is why it’s important to understand what to do in this situation. Remove your foot from the accelerator as the more power you apply, the more likely your vehicle will continue to skid. Steer the wheel in the direction of the skidding vehicle, so, if the vehicle is sliding to the left, steer to the left. This will help bring the vehicle into a straight line and out of the skid.
3. Drive in a higher gear in snow and ice.
When driving in snow, you should drive in as high a gear as possible, even if you’re driving at a slower speed. Tyres grip less efficiently in wet and cold conditions, so by driving in a higher gear, you will keep your vehicle’s revs low and prevent your wheels from spinning out.
4. Drive for the conditions, not the speed limit.
Speed limits are the maximum in ideal driving conditions, meaning it’s not always safe to drive at this speed in bad weather. On icy and wet surfaces, tyre grip is greatly reduced making braking distances much longer. Because of this, drivers should adjust their speed based on the surrounding conditions and not try to match the speed limit.
5. Use your fog lights when necessary.
Fog lights are installed to make your vehicle more visible in poor visibility conditions such as fog, heavy rain or snow. If visibility is less than 100m, put your fog lights on. Remember to switch your fog lights off when visibility improves as leaving them on could land you with a £50 fine.