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Driving in winter - useful tips

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Driving in winter - useful tips

It is the time of year again where Britain’s roads can be somewhat treacherous.

Recently Britain’s temperatures have dropped into the minuses, with some of the country seeing temperatures plummet to -13 degrees.

The decline in temperature results in ice, windscreens that seem to take an age to demist and roads which may have been obstructed by hail, snowfall or even fog. 

The most important thing to remember when driving in icy conditions is to:

  • Take your time – With the icy road conditions the roads are a lot slippier than usual, and your tyres are unable to stick to the road in the same way as on a dry road surface
  • Be mindful of stopping distances, keep your speed low - It is better to leave yourself a larger gap which gives you more time to anticipate any potential problems ahead. RAC Motoring recommends that you should leave yourself a gap ten times larger than you would usually. Always take into consideration any potential hazards which may be approaching, including black ice or any other vehicles that are encountering difficulty.
  • Black ice – Black ice nigh on impossible to spot. Consider the road ahead and if the road surface ahead appears to be wet, slow your speed down and proceed with caution. Remember: if the event that you do hit a patch of black ice, avoid the urge to swerve and brake harshly, keep your steering wheel straight and keep your composure.
  • Avoid harsh braking - If you have to apply your brakes, do so gently. It is better to move down your gears than to brake harshly.

Driving in winter can seem daunting, but by driving carefully and cautiously, you will stand yourself in good stead.

By Helen Livesey, graduate paralegal in the personal injury department.

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