The UK is currently experiencing a blast of cold weather, disrupting roads up and down the country. But even if things begin to thaw, it can be a good idea to remain clued up on how to drive when things get chilly - it’ll always come in handy.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to bear in mind when the temperature drops.
Properly defrost your car
Before you go anywhere, you need to make sure that your car is properly defrosted. You could use a good old-fashioned scraper for this, or there are some spray-on substances that can quickly and easily dissolve snow and ice from your screen.
Remember to do the windscreen and all of the car’s windows, too. If it’s been snowing, you need to make sure that you clear a car’s roof of any snow.
Don’t leave your car unattended while it warms
On a cold day it might be quite tempting to hurry inside while your car warms up with the engine warning. However, you need to stay with your vehicle if it’s in operation. If someone were to steal your vehicle while it’s warming up - often referred to as ‘frost jacking’ - an insurance company might not pay out.
It’s just best to remain with your vehicle whenever it’s running - regardless of how cold it is!
Once you’re out on the roads, remember to give yourself a little more time than usual. There’s no danger in slowing down and doing so will give you more time to deal with a potential issue such as a skid or slide.
Slowing down will also mean that you’ll get more time to react with changing road conditions, so if there are cars coming to a halt ahead of you, you’ll be more prepared.
Give yourself extra space
As you would do in heavy rain, leave a bigger gap between yourself and the car in front when it’s cold and icy. By increasing this gap, you’re giving yourself more time to get your car slowed down - particularly if the car ahead of you slows down suddenly.
Plus, leaving a larger gap helps the traffic to move along more effectively. It’ll also mean that should you hit ice, you’ll have more ‘runoff’ space.
Keep on major roads
Though gritters do their best to make sure all of the UK’s roads are ice-free, they’re often unable to access smaller, narrower roads. So if you are concerned, then it’s best to stick to major roads as there’s a much better chance that these will have been gritted.
In this instance, dual carriageways, A-roads and motorways are the best places to aim for.
If in doubt, leave it out
As with most things, if you’re unsure about the driving conditions then it’s better to stay at home and keep safe. Have a think about whether or not you really need to complete your journey and, if it’s not absolutely essential, then it’s a more sensible decision to wait at home.
Particularly if you’re not all that confident about driving on snow or ice, then staying at home in the warm will never be a bad thing.