Tips for driving in the snow – from going downhill safely to packing the right gear

The laughter of the snow counts…

It snowed all over the country this week, making driving conditions difficult for those who still have to go to work.

Driving in snow and ice conditions involves many dangers that can cause drivers to get stuck on the road or get involved in accidents.

If you plan to drive in snowy weather, here’s everything you need to know to stay safe on the road.

Preparation of the voyage

When it comes to snow and ice, roads can be a dangerous place, but there are many ways to drive safely.

Local municipalities will be busy surfacing some of the main roads, but each journey is likely to be fraught with different risks due to ice conditions.

Before you leave, defrost your windows and mirrors and refill the windscreen washer to prevent the water in the tank from freezing.

Bring a blanket, food and water, a shovel, warm clothes, a mobile phone charger, an ice scraper, a first aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, a map and a piece of carpet under your tires to avoid getting stuck in the snow.

Tips for driving in the snow – from going downhill safely to packing the right gear

Make sure you are properly prepared before you leave (Photo: AFP/Getty Images).

Also make sure your phone is charged and that you have suitable dry driving shoes.

Make sure the tyre tread is at least 1.6 mm deep.

In snowy weather, you should always allow for extra time for your journey, as you may be slowing down and experiencing delays.

It’s also a good idea to check if your license plates are covered with snow, because you can get a fine if they are not visible.

Tips for driving in the snow – from going downhill safely to packing the right gear

Slow down and give more time for your walks (Photo: Florian Gaertner / Photo Library via Getty Images).

Safe driving in snow

Make sure that the distance between you and other drivers is greater because braking times are longer than normal due to the ice on the road.

It also means driving more slowly, driving more carefully and overtaking should be avoided where possible.

Also watch out for black ice, which can be difficult for drivers to see, but is a potential danger.

Read more: Weather

Snow chains are legal in the UK, and you can fit them to your car as long as the manual allows, and they will give you better traction.

When driving an automatic vehicle in the snow, it is advisable to pay close attention to the direction of the vehicle to prevent it from skidding on the ice.

Some automatic vehicles are also equipped with controls that allow you to shift gears in case of snow.

Tips for driving in the snow – from going downhill safely to packing the right gear

(Photo: TonyBaggett/Getty Images/iStock Editorial)

How to drive downhill in snow

When downshifting down, go downhill and try not to brake if necessary, so that there is enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.

When approaching a turn, apply the brake before turning the steering wheel. If your car loses grip, try not to panic; the most important thing is to take your foot off the accelerator and make sure the wheels are pointing in the direction you want to go.

What to do if your car gets stuck in the snow?

The most important thing to remember when your car breaks down or you get stuck in the snow is that you are already prepared.

You should always have a defroster and an ice scraper in your car.

If your car is stuck in the snow, first make sure that the wheels are flat so that they do not turn too much and, if possible, try to remove the snow under the tires.

Read more: Weather

Try to drive at low speed and drive slowly, avoiding hard braking.

If you’re having trouble staying on course, it may be useful to use floor mats in your car to try and get more traction under your tyres.

Are you covered for driving during a weather warning?

The good news is: If you need to drive in snowy weather, you are covered by yellow and red weather warnings.

As long as you meet the other conditions of your insurance, your insurance will remain in force in the event of an accident or a defect in your vehicle.

MORE: Is it safe to let my dog out in the snow?

MORE: In the United Kingdom there was ten centimetres of snow and temperatures were low down to -10°C.

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