Oh no! A drop of snow has hit the UK so naturally, every conceivable emergency plan is thrown into the wind and we all descend into chaos.
In times like these, it’s only natural to see a healthier than usual selection of Subaru Imprezas out and about, and parents on the school run in their SUVs thinking they’ll be safe. Then failing to realise the majority are front wheel drive, then proceeding to complain on Facebook about their experiences.
But fear not avid motorist! We have put together a few tips so you can better prepare for the white stuff.
If you don’t need to, don’t bother.
If you do have to travel in bad weather, make sure you plan your route carefully, looking online at the condition of the roads you wish to take and allow time for a longer than usual journey. Plan to pass some petrol stations along the way for emergencies, and avoid country lanes (groans from the distance) as they’ll be less gritted.
De-snow your motor
Before setting off, make sure you completely clear your windows and mirrors from snow. Get rid of the snow that’s piled on the roof of your car and the bonnet as well otherwise, it can fall and blow on to the windscreen, and that’s not overly helpful – You can also be fined points for this.
Don’t be a rally driver
Try to move off gently and avoid high revs, I’m looking at you Honda drivers. If road conditions are incredibly icy and you drive a manual car, make sure that you move off in a higher gear rather than first as this will likely cause you to spin your wheels. You should stay in a higher gear to avoid wheel spin in general. If you need to slow down, use engine breaking by selecting a lower gear and make sure you don’t panic mash the brake pedal, it’ll only make you slide worse.
It’s important that you keep your speed consistent when travelling in snow. Never drive too fast round those hairpins or you risk losing control. And don’t drive so slowly that you risk losing all that lovely momentum for getting up a slope.
Keep your distance
Make sure you increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you. We all know that it can take up to 10 times longer to stop in the snow so don’t take the risk. That and it also gives you time to react.
Prepare for the corner
Make sure you slow down enough before approaching a bend so you have enough time to react to any potential obstacles that may appear as you go round it.
If you break down or have to pull over on a motorway or dual carriageway, you should leave your vehicle and stand to the safe side of it – ideally well over the Armco to the nearside of the road, not in front of it, when waiting for help.
Lastly, here’s a list of things we’d suggest you have in case of emergency.
– A shovel
– Fully charged phone and battery pack if you have one
– Jump leads, you never know…
– First aid kit
– Jacket and gloves
– A snack and water
– A blanket
– The number of your local recovery service
Right! You should now be set for Winter driving, there are plenty more things you can do to help, but you now know the essentials.
Have a good drive and stay safe on the roads.