Top tips for driving on ice

Date posted: January 24, 2013

As the snow is starting to clear, leaving us with nothing more than snowy mounds at the roadside and dangerous ice slicks on the roads, it’s crucial that drivers are doing everything they can to stay safe on the roads; for their own sake and the safety other road users too.

Black ice can be extremely dangerous to drive on and can account for a large number or motoring accidents. What’s more, since the Met Office has issued an ice warning and further snow predictions, you’ll need to minimise your risk and avoid unexpected car insurance claims by paying attention to your safety for the weeks ahead especially.

When driving on ice you should

Lower your speed

No matter how tempting it may be to put your foot down in order to get home after work, icy roads and excessive speeds spell nothing but trouble.

Ensure that you’re driving safely under the speed limit; remember that speed limits are set for normal road conditions, so your driving should change according to the weather conditions.

Brake gently and give yourself plenty of space

Make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front, as stopping is a lot more difficult on ice (up to ten times slower). Aim to drive with at least three car spaces between you and the car ahead so that you have enough time to come to a stop.

When you actually need to brake, brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels begin to lock, ease off the brake gently to remain in control.

Listen to your tyres

If you’re worried whether you’re driving on ice or not, listen out for your tyres. If they’re pretty silent then you’ll know you’re driving on ice and will have to adjust your driving accordingly.

Driving uphill and downhill

When you’re driving up steep icy hills, try to avoid stopping the car completely otherwise it could have unpredictably and become stuck.

When driving downhill, drive as slowly as you can and slip into first gear if you have to stop for any reason. Be careful that you aren’t getting too close to cars in front.

If you happen to skid…

Depress the clutch and turn your steering wheel into the direction of the skid. Don’t brake, otherwise your wheels will likely to lock, making the skid much worse. Instead take your foot off the accelerator.

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