Severe winter weather can cause very difficult moments for drivers.
Even if the roads you are driving on are very familiar to you, the situation changes significantly when snow or other wintry conditions hit.
Inexperienced drivers can cause significant issues when trying to drive in snow and icy weather but it can also be true of those with more experience who should know better.
Sometimes, drivers of 4x4s, for example, will speed past slower motorists because they have better grip.
While this is great for them, they’re driving dangerously because they’re often going too quick to stop safely and may be sending snow, ice or slush in to the roadway ahead of other motorists so be mindful of this.
In extreme cases, a heavy snowfall can also mean a night in a freezing car on the side of the road for you and your passengers.
If you find yourself in this scenario, you need to ensure that your car is prepared for such things.
Driving in snow and ice brings with it new considerations which all drivers, new and old, need to be aware of.
In winter, or if bad weather is forecast, you need to make sure your car is fully prepared for what mother nature can throw at it.
This guide has been put together to give you that very information and hopefully inform you ahead of the next extreme bout of wintery weather.
Don’t be caught out when the weather turns to snow or ice.
Good preparations for your journey will ensure that you have everything you need to deal with bad wintry conditions.
The following recommendations will keep you safe and on the road and is what the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) recommends:
Before You Set Off:
Make sure your tyres are properly inflated and that they are able to cope with slippery surfaces.
They should have a minimum of 3mm tread.
Check Your Battery:
Cold weather reduces the charge in your battery quicker than in summer.
If you find that your battery is flat, consult our guide for how to deal with a flat battery.
Emergency Snow Kit:
This kit could possibly save your life so make sure it is fully stocked.
You will need the following items:
Fill Up On Fuel:
A full tank of fuel will enable you to complete your journey and will help you to stay warm by running the engine.
Make sure that the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow to prevent poisonous fumes from entering the vehicle.
Clear Windows & Roof:
All your windows and roof must be fully cleared before beginning your journey.
Do not pour hot water on the windows as they will just freeze up again and hot water may cause them to crack.
Locks can be kept freed up by heating your key before inserting it.
If You Get Stuck In Snow:
If you are stuck and have to wait for assistance, use the clothes you have stored in your kit to help you keep warm.
Always wear your high visibility jacket if you have to get out of your vehicle, particularly if you are positioned in an area of low light.