RoSPA Advice For Driving In Snow Or Ice
If you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow covered roads, adapt your driving to the conditions:
- Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
- Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
- Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
- Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
- Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
- Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
- To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently.
- Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
- Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up fully can quickly make you drowsy.
- In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
- Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
- During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges, in shaded areas and on exposed bridges.
- Be aware of ice even on gritted roads, although the road has been treated the road is unlikely to be wholly free of ice.