Driving in winter is a challenge for even the most experienced of driver.
Driving in slippery conditions causes a lot of stress on drivers both
physically and mentally. Under such conditions fatigue is a concern therefore
proper rest is essential. You need to be at your best to manage under such
conditions. The more experienced driver will have experience of driving in these
conditions and will prepare for the worst.
In very poor conditions such as heavy snow fall or very slippery
conditions drivers need to know when to pull over and where is safe to pull
over. One member gave a good tip. If you think it’s time to put on snow chains,
it’s time to pull over. However drivers with perishables or loads that are
essential to ensure that industry and communities function in extreme
conditions, have an extra pressure to deliver placed upon them. If you feel that
the conditions are too poor to travel in then pull over, it’s your life, it’s
your responsibility to ensure that you are not a cause of danger to other road
users or passengers, it’s your call.
Your senses will be working overtime so help them out, keep your speed
in check and your vision unobstructed. A lot of road dirt is thrown up onto wind
screens, mirrors and lights. Get your glass clean and keep it clean, it will
keep you seen.
Top Tips When Driving in Slippery Conditions
1. Keep your windscreen, mirrors and light glass clean. Clear off snow from your vehicle before going out on the road.
2. Reduce Road Speed Reduce Manoeuvring Speed Reduce Braking Speed
3. Stopping distances can be at least 10 times longer in ice and snow.
4. Calculated delicate manoeuvres are the key to safe driving.
5. Make a conscious effort to increase the space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
6. When pulling away on snow or ice use a higher gear as this can prevent wheel spin.
7. Read your operators manual if the vehicle is equipped with traction control. This piece of equipment
will assist with driving in poor conditions; however it must be operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s
guidelines. Some devices can be used on motorway driving, very useful when driving on snow.
8. Use your gears to slow down in icy conditions more than when operating in normal conditions.
9. Remember a sudden change in power output to the drive wheels can cause a loss of traction or lock a wheel.
10. Deceleration is a form of braking, so do it gently.
11. Switch off your exhaust brakes and retarders at the control switch (if fitted) Exhaust brakes and retarders could cause
a drive axle to lock and stall your engine. An engine stall in icy conditions can have disastrous consequence the most serious
being power steering failure. Restarting a modern engine in a vehicle that is moving can be a very difficult procedure.
12. Automated boxes should be switched to manual to ensure that you are in total control of power output to drive wheels.
13. Steering control can change in a split second, so its two hands on the wheel at all times.
14. When you have to over steer don’t over do the over steer as it will take too long to recover. Feed the wheel gently.
15. In a skid where you look is where you will probably steer to, so don’t look at where you don’t want to go.
16. If you do skid, steer in the direction you want to go and try not to brake or accelerate until you’re back in control.
17. Hills can cause added problems when the roads are slippery so it’s not a good idea to stop part way up. Always hold back until the road ahead is clear and keep a constant speed when climbing a hill and avoiding changing gear.
18. And just when you think you are clear of the slippery road conditions watch out for Micro Climates. These are areas where the road surface is sheltered from sun light and the road may be frozen in this area while the rest of the road may be fine. Sheltered areas under trees or high hedge rows near the roadway should be treated with caution.
19. Keep your fuel tank full. It assists with traction and will keep you warm if you get stuck out.
20. Always listen to the weather forecast before heading out.
Essential Extreme Winter Accessories
Scraper and de-icer.
Screen wash capable of operating at minus 35c
Spare light bulbs for tail and head lights
Spare fuses if heated mirrors are fitted
Blanket or Sleeping Bag
Spare pair of socks and gloves
Before You Head Out Check Weather Forecast Press the Link
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