Warning, winter! How to drive in icy conditions

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2Driving on icy roads can result in some of the most dangerous and difficult journeys you’ll ever have to make in a vehicle, particularly if you’re not used to it.

While you should try and avoid driving at all in such conditions wherever possible, sometimes you’ll need to take the car out in the ice and snow. Consequently, knowing how to drive properly in these weather conditions is incredibly important to your safety.

Here we take a look at our five top tips for keeping safe on icy roads.

1. Adjust your speed

The best way to remain safe on frozen or snowy roads is to take it as slowly as practically possible without being a hazard yourself. The slower you drive, the easier it will be to stop in any situation and the less likely you will be to find yourself skidding or sliding along the tarmac.

2. No sudden movements

Driving in the snow and ice requires you to be far gentler in your driving style than you would otherwise have to be. This means extending your ‘take it slow’ approach to both accelerating and braking, remembering to use both pedals gradually and trying not to suddenly alter your speed in any way.

Slamming on the brakes or applying too much power to begin with are the main cause of accidents in the snow.

3. Increase stopping distances

Stopping distances are often said to be ten times longer on icy roads than normal conditions, meaning drivers should adjust their braking distances accordingly. This should result in a larger gap between you and the cars in front and behind you, as you never know when you may have to come to a stop.

Remember to factor in your vehicle specifics though. A Jeep Wrangler may take longer to stop than a small hatchback because of the weight but its tyres may be better set up for snow and ice.

4. Select the appropriate gear

It’s important to remember that, to a large degree, gear selection will determine how much additional control you have over your vehicle. If you have to climb a hill, start in a low gear so that you don’t have to change down mid way.

5. Heed weather warnings

Finally, it’s vital that you heed weather warnings and try not to drive if it’s recommended that you don’t. For more information on how to drive safely or how to get or replace your driving license  visit DVLA website.