DRIVERS face a major weather warning as snow causes travel chaos – here’s what you need to know if you’re out on the road.
With temperatures set to plummet to below zero in the UK this week, drivers should pay more attention when out and about.
Drivers face weather warning as snow causes travel chaosGETTY_HUB
Handily, experts at Bill Plant Driving School have shared several tips to help motorists drive safely in the snow.
Visibility is key in wintery conditions, and you should double-check that your wipers are in working order before setting off on any journeys.
Drivers should check for wear and tear in the rubber and if the wipers leave smears and dirt, then you should look to replace the blades.
Experts say that drivers should avoid excessive acceleration.
Control is critical when it comes to driving in the snow, and every manoeuvre should be completed slowly and with care.
And be gentle on the throttle and set off smoothly using low revs, as any harsh acceleration could cause wheel spin.
If you are slowing down, then be ready to brake gently and consistently as you go down through the gears, as this will help alert road users behind you of your intentions via the car’s brake lights.
Pulling off in second gear is advised whilst easing off the clutch gently to again avoid wheel spin.
Once in motion, it is wise to drive in as higher gear as possible, because this keeps revs lower and, in turn, further reduces the chance of wheel spin.
Find the correct gear for the road ahead, and avoid changing up or down unless necessary.
Stopping distances usually double in wet conditions, but in snow and ice, you should be looking to leave a gap which is up to ten times more than standard.
Changing gear and braking unnecessarily should be avoided wherever possible, especially on hills where you should try and ensure the traffic is clear ahead and attempt to keep a constant speed.
With shorter days in the winter months, side lights or full headlights are commonly in use most of the time.
You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced – normally when you can’t see further than 100 metres.
Fog can be a big problem, and front or rear fog lights can be used when there is little visibility.
Before you travel
National Highways recommend planning your journey in advance, particularly if you are travelling on routes you don’t know.
Plan your routeCheck the availability of service areas along your routeMake sure you know how to operate your headlights and fog lights Check your vehiclePack a winter kitCheck the weather forecast. If snow or ice is expected, consider delaying your journey until it clears.Check traffic conditions on our website and TwitterPack a winter kit
Pack a winter kit
It’s worth carrying essential winter supplies just in case you need them, especially if there’s a forecast for severe weather:
waterde-icerfoodwarm clothesice scraperfully charged mobile and car chargertorchblanketsbootssnow shovelsunglasses to cope with the low winter sun
Demist your windscreen
A clear windscreen is essential at all times, especially when snow is falling.
With a clever climate control system, it will automatically adjust to achieve the best results to keep your windscreen free from misting up.
But if you do not have air-con or climate control, you’ll have to clear the screen manually.
Turn on your car and start with your heater function running cold.
Then slowly increase the temperature. This will stop the car from becoming full of hot, wet air.
Make use of the air-con if you have the feature, as this will prevent condensation.
Never drive away until your windscreen is clear.