9 Steps to Flawless Winter Driving

Posted on: 5 November 2015

Driving in snowy or icy winter conditions can be tricky. If you live in an area that sees the temperatures dropping dramatically during the winter months, make sure you pay heed to these nine driving tips to avoid becoming involved in an accident.

1. Remove Snow

If you've experienced snowfall over the night – or simply when you've left your car outside – clearing it off the windshield with a scraper might not be enough. Remember to also remove snow from the vehicle's roof, windows, and mirrors before you begin driving.

2. Take it Slow and Steady

Slow and steady wins the race during adverse winter conditions. Abrupt turns and stops can cause you to lose control, so remember to take your time on snow and ice covered roads.

3: Never Tailgate

Tailgating is a practice that should always be avoided, but it becomes even more dangerous during the winter. Stopping takes longer on snow or ice, so make sure you leave plenty of space between your car and the vehicle ahead.

4: Brake Before Turning or Cornering

When you're coming to a turn, reduce your speed gradually. Accelerate again only when you've rounded the corner.

5. Control Slips and Skids

Sometimes slips just happen, even to the most careful of drivers. If you find yourself losing control of the vehicle, turn into the skid and accelerate slightly. This transfers the car's weight from the front to the rear.

6. Keep Your Lights On

Keep your lights on their lowest setting, even during the day. Poor winter conditions can impair the ability of other road users to spot you.

7. Not Use Cruise Control

Cruise control makes driving easier, but it's a system you need to avoid when conditions are snowy, icy, or wet. If your car hydroplanes then the cruise system will compensate by automatically accelerating, making an already dangerous situation even worse.

8. Let Anti-Locking Brakes Do Their Job

Most cars are now equipped with an anti-lock braking system. If yours is one of them, avoid 'pumping' the brakes (applying them repeatedly in order to steer and brake on a slippery surface). Just use the brakes normally and let the system do its work.

9. Remain Aware

Most of all, you need to make sure that you remain aware of both road conditions and your intended route. Make sure you leave plenty of room for manoeuvres, and pay attention to the road ahead to give yourself the proper time and space to make turns and stops.

Winter driving can be harder than driving in normal conditions, but you can keep yourself from harm's way by following this guide. If, however, something happens, you can get mechanical repairs from a company like Timber City Motors.