1st statement often used but ignored – is your journey necessary?
If so then like the girl guides say – be prepared! Pack yourself some essential supplies: de-icer, scraper, antifreeze topped up - plus just in case: shovel, blankets, torch, water or flasks. We have a handy AA winter driving kit perfect to keep in your boot. Also make sure you have plenty of fuel and plan your route sticking to main roads wherever possible.
If you are stuck in a queue or blocked and the snow is falling heavily, keep your engine running for warmth but periodically get put and clear snow build up from the exhaust.
If it’s snowing in the day use a dipped beam as its clearer, snow and lights can be dazzling. Only use your fog lights if visibility is very poor the Highway Code recommends less than 100m – if you can’t see the tail lights of the car in front of you it’s time to switch them on.
When the roads are snowy and icy:
- Drive slowly and smoothly up and down the gears, no sudden jerky movements
- Look way ahead to foresee hazards bends etc
- Keep your distance, stay way back from cars ahead as stopping distance is drastically increased in icy conditions
- In a manual car release the clutch as gently as you can, keeping engine revs to a minimum - change gear early as you accelerate and late as you slow down
- In an automatic put your car into low ratio or manual mode and avoid sport settings at all costs, if you have an optional 4 wheel drive switch that on.
During the winter months make sure you take your car out for occasional long runs to allow the battery to charge up - especially if you’re only driving to and from work each day as using your lights and your heaters drains the battery quicker.