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Top Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

Once again as we approach the festive time of year our weather grows colder, harsher and quite serve on occasion. As UK drivers we must be prepared for the worst but hopeful for best. Hazardous road conditions from snow and ice can often creep up on us. Even the experienced drivers can be caught off guard as road accidents soar. Thankfully knowing only a handful of these essential tips will greatly diminish your chances of trouble on our icy roads.

No.1 Ė Avoid Non-Essential Driving

For guaranteed safety, stay off the roads completely. Restrict yourself from all but essential use, thereís no point in putting yourself at unnecessary risk. As inconvenient as it first seems, nothing beats the inconvenience of being a road accident!

No.2 Ė Remember to Reduce Your Speed

Speed only increases the risk in these conditions. It will make it easier to loose control, harder to regain it and take longer for you to stop. With this in mind, remain cautions even if the roads are seemingly ok. You could unwittingly stray onto un-gritted roads, or encounter black ice unexpectedly. Even the well-maintained motorways should be taken at much lower speeds than usual until the weather has cleared up.

No.3 Ė Never Become Overconfident

Whist many modern vehicles contain all manner of advanced traction and braking systems, donít fall victim to overconfidence. Careless driving may still result in an unrecoverable slide in spite of the latest automotive technology. ABS systems whilst useful in the wet are quite useless when it comes to snow and ice. Do not slacken your judgement whilst relying on these systems entirely.

No.4 Ė Always Remain Smooth With The Controls

These conditions demand stricter demands for smooth driving and balance. Unsettling inputs are now far more likely to break the minimal road traction. Sharp steering movements, harsh braking and quick acceleration can easily trigger a dangerous slide.

No.5 - Remain Calm If You Slide

Remember, the faster your travelling, the harder it will be to correct a slide. If feel the occasional break of traction, you need to slow down or risk loosing control.

If you are caught by surprise and begin sliding you remain calm and try to proceed as follows:

  • Donít panic and slam on brakes. If you do you must realise them
  • Look in the direction wish to go, do not fixate where you do not
  • Carefully turn into the slide (the direction the rear is sliding towards)
  • Donít overcorrect the steering, go too far and it will slide again on return
  • Gradually re-apply the brakes only once you have regained traction

No.6 Ė Elevate Your Road Awareness

You need to be extra vigilant to ensure you donít get tangled up in an accident with other road users. Increase the space between you and any other vehicles, grant yourself more room to maneuverer and time to react. If you do notice another car loosing control you can react calmly and accordingly ahead of time.

No.7 Ė Play it Safe Around Accidents

Be very careful as you pass the scene of road collisions. If you should only stop to help if you can remain safe yourself and not endanger others. Always position yourself defensively, other vehicles may panic and loose control too!

For busy roads and motorways you should avoid stopping to help others unless itís urgent. Itís not worth exposing yourself to the inflated dangers. Instead proceed to a safe area and inform the emergency services of the situation.


published: 01/12/2015 09:05:31

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