As winter has well and truly set in its time to think about driving in the snow, ice and fog. What do you need to know and is there a difference to normal driving conditions.
Fresh snow is easier to drive on than hard or compact snow. Fresher snow provides more grip as compact snow can turn into ice. If your struggling to move off, maybe from your drive, it may be an idea to pack snow around your wheels. Snow sticks to snow, hence being able to build snowmen, and can sometimes give you the extra traction needed to move off.
As we know ice is very slippy and is especially hard to spot, as is black ice. Think about braking earlier to avoid skidding and move off more slowly. By using a higher gear when moving off it should reduce the amount of wheel spin you obtain. Don’t forget your minimum depression gap when in flowing traffic.
Foggy conditions can be difficult especially on your daily commute. Severe fog tends to gather at high points and near marsh land or water. Think about your following distance with other traffic, you need to be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear. Also think about your use of fog lights, every vehicle has to have rear fog lights but front fogs are optional. Only use fog lights when visibility is less and 100 metres, not as soon as you see fog. The lights are very bright and intense and so must be switched off when visibility improves.
Traction control systems such ABS and ESP are great however they are usually reactive systems to help prevent incidents from occurring. By driving in a smoother and slower manner you will proactively prevent dangerous situations from occurring and therefore won’t need to rely on such technology. Don’t forget, there is a limit to grip and even with the best systems in the world, when it’s gone, it’s gone.
If your planning any long journeys this winter it might be worth thinking about what essentials to carry. If you were to become stranded in the bad weather conditions you need to consider what key equipment might you need. Our suggested items to store in the boot would be: de-icer, anti-freeze, coat, food & drink, phone charger and also a first aid kit.
We hope these little pointers might be of use, stay safe out there this winter!