However much we love being behind the wheel of a car, there aren’t many of us who relish driving in ice and snow. January and February can often bring the worst road conditions so we’ve put together some top tips for keeping safe in winter with the help of the motoring experts at the RAC.
Ice is one of the most hazardous of all driving conditions. Black ice is icularly treacherous because it is transparent and harder to spot compared to snow, frozen slush or thicker white ice. As a result, many drivers often don’t realise they are actually driving on ice and don’t reduce their speeds.
When you’re driving in ice or snow, please remember:
* The first rule of driving in bad weather is simple. Only drive if it’s absolutely necessary and don't be afraid to turn back if you think the conditions are too treacherous.
* Make sure your windows are completely clear before you start driving.
* If you’re driving to meet someone, let them know where you are travelling and when you expect to arrive.
* Leave around ten times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front.
* If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes.
* All controls - such as brakes, steering, accelerator and gear changing - should be operated smoothly and slowly.
* A higher gear may be more appropriate to aid the tyres gripping when moving off on packed ice or snow.
* It's important to accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible. You may need to move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip.
* In snow, if the road has not been gritted, be wary of driving in the wheel-tracks of other vehicles as compressed snow is likely to be icier than fresh snow.
* Sunglasses can help to reduce the glare of low winter sun on the snow.
* Whenever you’re driving in ice or snow keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer.
The winter weather and salt from gritting all takes it toll on your car. A vehicle wrap is the ideal solution to protect any car or van in winter and the paintwork will be as good as the day the wrap was put on.