Survive The Worst Of Winter With The IAM’S Top TipsTue, 28 Jan 2014
WITH weather forecasters warning of the prospect of freezing temperatures, ice and even snow, road safety charity the IAM has been quick to offer a few tips to help drivers stay safe on the roads.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "Some bits of the country have already had a first taste of this year's winter. That means it's time for the rest of us to start thinking about how to deal with it too."
Rodger’s six top tips for driving safely and confidently in icy conditions are:
1) Keep to the main roads as they're more likely to be salted. Also, ice can remain in areas which are shaded by trees and buildings - and it forms there first, so be careful in the evening as the temperature drops.
2) Don’t forget your de-icer and a scraper. And don't be one of those people who only scrape a small area and drive looking through a slit - clear the whole screen to be able to see properly.
3) If you find the road is slippery when you start off, do it in second gear, releasing the clutch and accelerating gently, avoiding high revs - this will help prevent wheel spin. As you drive, stay in higher gears when possible.
4) Cars go in ditches every winter because drivers haven't taken icy roads seriously enough. If it's cold outside treat wet looking patches with great care - they could be ice, not water.
5) Stopping distances are increased by up to 10 times in icy conditions, so leave plenty of space between your car and the car in front. Plan so that you're not relying on your brakes to stop - on ice they may not do that for you - if it is really slippery slow down early and use the gears to help you.
6) If your car loses grip and starts to slide sideways, take your foot off the accelerator, and point the front wheels where you want to go.
Rodger added: "These are just a few pointers to start you thinking. Being mentally prepared as well as having the right equipment is vital, so think about any problems you encountered last winter, and what you need to do to avoid them or overcome them if they recur this year. Be prepared for the worst - icy conditions will affect accelerating, steering and braking."
By Press Association reporters