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  1. ITV Report

Stay safe: Tips for driving in snow

Stay safe: Tips for driving in snow Photo: PA images

BEFORE YOU SET OUT:

  • Check tyres for adequate tread. Poor tyres will not grip when driving on snow and ice. If you live in an area where snow is common it might be worth changing to winter tyres with deeper tread.
  • Use a good quality screenwash that protects down to at least -35 to prevent the water from freezing. If you don’t, your windscreen wipers could be rendered useless in extreme conditions.
  • Allow more time in the morning to clear car windows and mirrors of snow before setting off.
  • Use lukewarm water or de-icer to defrost the outside of your vehicle. You should never use hot or boiling water.
  • Make sure any auto wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition on as this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen.
  • Be prepared for every eventuality by ensuring that your car is equipped with the following: demisting pad, torch (wind-up so you don’t run out of battery), spare screenwash, de-icer, ice scraper, blanket, shovel, phone charger, map and a square of carpet that you can use to put under your drive wheels should you get stuck in the snow.

WHEN DRIVING IN SNOW:

  • It's important to accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible. You may need to move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip.
  • You may need to leave as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front.
  • If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it - for example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, steer to the right. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes.
  • If the road has not been gritted, be wary of driving in the wheeltracks or other vehicles as compressed snow is likely to be more icy than fresh snow.
  • Controls such as the brakes, as well as the steering, accelerator and even gear changing should be operated smoothly and slowly.

These tips are according to the RAC. For further weather information, visit the Met office.

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