The winter months come with a festive feel and cosy evenings, but with this also comes harsh weather and potential distribution. Snowy or icy conditions can make driving challenging, dangerous and quite unnerving for many motorists. These types of circumstances can lead to malfunctions in the vehicle itself or accidents on the road, so it’s crucial to prepare before making any journey. These top tips for driving in the snow will ensure you have a safe and comfortable journey no matter how far you’re going.
What to do before driving in the snow
While many people struggle with the concept of physically driving in the snow, preparing yourself and your car beforehand can make this process much easier and safer. One of the main things to ask yourself before setting off is, ‘ do I need to leave the house? ‘ If driving in the snow isn’t a necessity or crucial for things such as your job, it might be best to wait until the snow has cleared and the roads are back to normal. If however, you do need to travel, here are some tips to remember before setting off.
Plan your journey
Planning your journey or route is always helpful but doing so in snowy or icy conditions is a must! Travelling through remote areas which could suffer from flooding or a lack of grit should be avoided. It can also be helpful to check the weather in any areas you plan to travel to as you could be caught in snowfall along the way, especially during long-distance driving.
Extra travel time
In addition to your normal travel time, adding extra minutes will ensure you get to where you need to be, on time. This added time can be used for tasks such as cleaning windows, clearing your windscreen, checking lights and mirrors, potential traffic and general slow driving.
Check your tyres
Poor or low-pressure tyres will not grip when driving in the snow and ice. Tyre pressure can also be affected during colder weather so must be checked more regularly than usual. If you know that you’re going to be driving in snowy conditions, check your tyres beforehand, looking for any wear and tear or loss of air. Many drivers also opt for winter tyres as these come with deeper tread.
Pack the essentials
In the worst-case scenario, you might need some essentials should a breakdown or issue arise. Make sure to not only go through your car checklist but also pack essentials for when something could go wrong. These might include a hi-vis jacket, de-icer, blanket, gloves, map or first aid kit. One of the main things is to ensure you have access to a mobile phone to contact your breakdown recovery services.
Extra things to check
Before setting off in the snow, there are a number of things you should quickly check to make sure you’re all good to go. These include checking your screen wash, oil and other fluids, wipers, car battery, snow on the roof of your car, air conditioning, petrol/diesel and any dashboard warnings lights.
How to drive in the snow
Once all of these features have been checked and you and your vehicle are prepared for travel, you can begin your journey! Travelling in the snow and especially driving comes with a lot of caution and hazards which aren’t always there, so make sure to be vigilant, patient and aware of your surroundings!
Here are some simple yet essentials tips for driving in the snow.
- Make sure your footwear is dry and comfortable
- Accelerate gently using a low rev
- Move off in second gear to avoid wheel spin
- Activate winter/snow mode if your car has it
- Maintain a safe stopping distance
- Use 10 times the recommended gap between the car in front
- Use a low gear for downhill driving
- Use your brakes on bends and turn
- Steer into any skids that you might face
- Use dipped headlights in heavy snowfall
- Do EVERYTHING slowly and smoothly
- Keep your speed down
Driving on black ice
Another weather precaution that comes with snow is black ice. Black ice is a thin layer of ice on the road surface which is typically transparent and difficult to see, making it one of the biggest dangers for winter drivers. This type of ice is caused by rain falling onto frozen surfaces and tends to appear on bridges, overpasses and covered spots. Here are a few helpful tips to remember when driving in icy conditions.
- Do everything very slowly
- Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
- Try to keep steering straight
- Increase stopping distance
When we began trading back in 1982, we wanted to become a one-stop-shop for our customers and to make it easy for you to get everything you need, as quickly as possible.
Our Automotive Consumables division provides the high-quality products you’d expect from Filter Services, with the same fast delivery times to match.
Automotive Consumables by Filter Services
Wanting to upgrade your vehicle and get prepared for the winter months? When we began trading back in 1982, we wanted to become a one-stop-shop for our customers and to make it easy for you to get everything you need, as quickly as possible. Our Automotive Consumables division provides the high-quality products you’d expect from Filter Services, with the same fast delivery times to match.
Filter Services also sell a huge range of automotive filters for all kinds of vehicles. With some of the world’s leading brands, like Baldwin, Mann filters, Donaldson, Fleetguard, HiFi and more on offer, we’re sure we’ve got something to suit your needs.