Like Hurricane Irwin, it is more likely to cause roadblocks as snow, ice and rain make conditions more difficult and increase the chances of getting into an accident or traffic jam.
Here are some tips on getting ready to drive in the snow to help you cope with the cold weather and what to do if you start to lose control.
Get your car ready
Before leaving in bad weather, you should make sure that your car is in good condition.
Make sure all your lights work, your tires are properly inflated and they have plenty of running time and you have topped up your screenwash with a good fluid that is zero level Will work on heat.
If your car is covered with snow or ice, be sure to clean it before driving. Don’t be tempted to clean up just one patch on the windscreen. Not only is it illegal but it will leave you with limited visibility, which is not good for your safety or for road users.
Pack an emergency kit.
Snow, ice and bad weather increase the chances of getting stuck in a traffic jam or accident so it is important to be prepared for the long wait in your car.
Carry a bag with a few essentials in your car at all times. Important items include a warm coat, sturdy shoes, a high-waisted jacket and a blanket. You should also pack a flashlight, snacks and drinks if you have a long delay. If you get stuck in the snow or on a slippery surface, a folding shovel and even an old carpet cut can come in handy.
Plan your trip
If it is snowing or raining heavily, it is best to avoid traveling. However, if you need to get out, plan your trip carefully and expect it to take longer than usual.
Check travel reports regularly for information on delays or road closures and try to avoid small, underused roads as they are less likely to snow or clear than major routes.
You should also make sure that your car has enough fuel / charge and make sure that your mobile phone is also charged, if you get stuck.
Driving in the snow
Once you’re on the road, it’s important to take your time and maintain control.
Keep in mind that the braking distance can be up to 10 times longer than in dry conditions and that you may lose control in the event of a sudden input slippage.
Keep your speed low and leave a large space for other vehicles. See what other cars are doing and give them enough space so you don’t have to slow down or drive unnecessarily.
Try to speed up, apply the brakes and run slowly and keep the input to a minimum. The less you change gears, brake or stop, and the more time you have to maneuver, the less likely you are to get stuck or have an accident.
Look forward to any potentially difficult levels such as standing, snow spots or snow drifts and give yourself plenty of time to move around them.
Handle the skid
Even if you are careful, there is always a chance that a piece of black ice or other treacherous surface will catch you and take your car out of control.
If you feel your car slipping, try to keep calm and take your foot off the accelerator and press the clutch, but do not apply the brakes as this may make the skid worse.
In modern cars with a stability control system, you must maintain your steering position and allow the vehicle’s electronics to regain control.
In older cars without such a system, if the rear wheels are slipping, you may need to skid. If the front wheels are slipping, steering slightly in the opposite direction before returning to the correct steering line can sometimes help them find extra grip.
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