Drive safe this Christmas
SNOW and ice have caused havoc for motorists recently, leading a top driving organisation to issue new safety advice. With wintry weather affecting many parts of the country the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has come up with a list of tips for saf
SNOW and ice have caused havoc for motorists recently, leading a top driving organisation to issue new safety advice.
With wintry weather affecting many parts of the country the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has come up with a list of tips for safe winter driving.
Skidding on ice is the main concern for those driving in freezing conditions.
Peter Rodger, IAM Chief Examiner said: "When driving in snow, get your speed right - not too fast so that you risk losing control, but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when you need it - and brake, steer and accelerate as smoothly as possible,"
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"Start gently from stationary, avoiding high revs. If you get yourself into a skid the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the accelerator and steer, never use the brake," he said.
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- Double or even triple your normal stopping distance from the vehicle in front.
- Plan your journey around busier roads as they are more likely to have been gritted.
- On motorways stay in the clearest lane where possible, away from slush and ice.
- Keep within the clear tyre tracks if you can.
- Stay in a higher gear for better control.
- As conditions improve make sure your foglights are only on if necessary - they can dazzle other drivers.
- In falling snow use dipped headlights to make yourself visible to others (especially pedestrians)
- Check the weather in advance - don't ignore police warnings about closed roads.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit so you are prepared in the event of a breakdown. This should include a torch, food for energy, water and a blanket. On longer journeys always let someone know you have set off and tell them your planned route.
- Ensure your mobile is charged up so you can make a call in an emergency - but don't use it when driving!
- Do a proper winter check of your vehicle, looking at washer fluid, de-icer/scraper and tyres.