Driving in winter conditions

From sliding on ice and getting stuck in the snow to clearing your windscreen, driving in the winter can pose a wide range of potentially dangerous situations. To help you stay safe and avoid any accidents, we’ve rounded up some useful tips on different areas of winter driving.

Before you set off

• Make use of any warm-up or remote start features in your vehicle and start the car as soon as possible to allow the engine to warm up and produce hot air
• Ensure the blowers are pointed at the windscreen, not your feet
• Use a scraper or a plastic edge to remove ice from glass areas. Be careful around the edges as you may risk damaging seals or paintwork.  Use de-icer if you have it to hand
• Ensure your windows are completely clear before setting off
• Remove snow from your roof, bonnet or boot

How to drive safely in winter

• Use higher gears – pull away in second rather than first as this reduces the chances of spinning the wheels and getting into a rut. If your car has an efficiency or economy mode, it will normally dull the accelerator’s responsiveness, making it easier to get going without spinning the wheels
• Avoid sharp application of the brakes as this can lead to a skid, at which point you’ve lost control of your vehicle. If the wheels lock, release the brakes before reapplying them
• Treat the steering with a light touch – any tyre’s ability to offer lateral grip is reduced in wintry conditions. The faster you travel and the more you need to turn, the less sideways grip the tyre will offer. Once you’re sliding sideways, it’s even harder to regain control
• Use major roads where possible as these are much more likely to have been gritted and, usually, higher traffic volumes help prevent snow from settling. Leave bigger stopping distances (up to 10x greater) between you and whatever is in front of you
• Reduce your speed – the car will be easier to control and you’ll have much more time to react to situations as they develop

If you want more control over your car when the temperature drops, why not try a set of new winter tyres?

For information about the benefits of winter tyres, call Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic on 01905 358217.

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