Stay safe on the roads during this icy weather

26 February 2018

by: Aislinn Millichip

With a cold front forcast to hit the UK this week and the Met Office issuing yellow warnings across South Wales, severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous to drive in. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies...

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your fuel tank at least half full to avoid fuel line freeze-up.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by an Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Pack a mobile telephone, blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle should you break down.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay in your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the accelerator slowly is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry, and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Taken from an original article by AAA Exchange: