The needle has dropped below zero already for many of us and in Belper, its not gone much above 5° on the car’s display. So we thought we’d put together some more winter driving tips, as we have done in previous years.
The Yorkshire Moors and Scotland have already experienced snowstorms with a few people reporting minor bumps in their vehicles.
Even the most experienced of drivers can struggle driving in the tradtional conditions that the UK winter weather brings.
Don’t drive to close to the vehicle in front
Simples really, but its much harder to stop your vehicle when there’s surface water, ice or even snow on the ground.
Try and keep a couple of car lenghts between you and the vehicle in front of you. Ignore the drivers who are ignoring (social) distancing and trying to pressure you to close the gap.
Gears and Acceleration
Whilst the majority of our short-term car fleet is automatic, we still have customers who opt for manual cars.
Use a higher gear and slower speed, especially in slippery conditions. Using this method will help you maintain control over your car.
We’ve had the deep thick-set fog in Belper and the surrounding hills, and this hasn’t lifted for the most part of the day.
Whilst most vehicles have automatic headlights nowadays, its really important to double check and make sure your lights are on. Whilst you might not be able to see, you’ll want others to see you.
Slow right down and remember to keep your distance from the vehicle in-front. If visibility really does drop to zero, then pull over in a safe place and give it ten minutes to see if it passes.
Keep your windows clear
You maybe a little late in the morning and not have time to completely clear your windows from ice or snow.
But don’t, not only is it illegal to drive with your windows misted or covered, but the chances of you having an accident are greatly increased.
Use an ice scraper and/or de-icer to clear your windows. A top tip from Cocoon Vehicles is to give your windscreen a spray with De-icer the night before. In the morning it will be much easier to clear.
Driving Through Deep Water
If you’ve recently had snow or heavy rain, the chances of standing flood water on roads is greatly increased.
Whilst it can be tempting to drive through the water (and usually at high speed), we would avoid having to go through at all.
If you do have to proceed with your journey, try and determine the depth of the water. When driving through, keep in a low gear and keep the revs up of the engine, this helps gain momentum.
If the water is really deep, once entering the water, just touch brake once, before accelerating to the same speed as the bow wave you’ve just helped create.
Keep an Emergency Pack in your car
Might seem a little over the top, but we’ve all seen it in the news where motorists have been stranded overnight due to severe weather.
But there is nothing stopping anyone from being prepared, we’d recommend the following items:
- Reflective Clothing
- Mobile Phone Charge or Battery Bank
Keep an eye out on our news, as we’ll be writing another article soon on the top items to keep in your car for winter.
Black Ice gets its name as its transparent. It blends in with the rest of the road and can take even the most experienced driver by surprise.
In freezing temperatures, drive slowly and keep your distance.
If you do hit ice on the road, remember:
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel and take your foot off the accelerator
- Try not to hit the brakes, remain calm and let the vehicle pass over the black ice.
- Steer gently in to the skid. If the rear of your car is sliging to the left, then you should steer to the left.
Whilst many cars have fantastic traction control systems, it’s also important not to take any risks and rely on these systems too much.
4×4’s for winter
Many of our customers already run a system whereby they have have an SUV for the winter and something pratical or sporty for the summer seasons.
Use the links below to find out more:
Read more winter articles
Click on the links below to read more articles on driving in the winter: