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Met Office Warning as Heavy Snow Forecast - 9 Tips to Help You Drive Safely This Winter

posted on Dec 16 2009 by Josh Seymour

Met Office Warning as Heavy Snow Forecast - 9 Tips to Help You Drive Safely This Winter

This is the time of year we all dread and nobody likes driving in the snow and dealing with the delays that result. If you must travel in the snow, taking these few basic steps should increase your chances of getting home again safely.What's more beautiful than looking out of your window and seeing a blanket of new-falling snow, unless of course you have to drive in it. Snow and Ice pose special problems for even the most experienced driver so all of us here suggest you take a few moments to learn these basic rules of winter driving safety:

1). Make sure especially now that your car is well maintained and plan your route carefully including to check the latest weather forecast.

2). Always keep your petrol tank topped up as it may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad snow storm.

3). It's also a good idea to keep a breakdown kit (warning triangle, torch, blanket, chocolate bar) in your car in case of emergency.

4). If you don't already have cover, membership of a breakdown service is also advised.

5). The first fall of snow is extremely dangerous if the roads have not been gritted. Once gritted, there is more grip for careful driving, but it's when snow becomes compacted and refrozen overnight and in freezing temperatures that the greatest care must be taken. Ungritted roads will become impassable by most vehicles and even gritted surfaces can remain extremely slippery.

6). Keep your windscreen and windows clear. Keep an ice scraper handy and use the car heater or a clean cloth to keep the windows free of mist.

7). Allow more distance (at least 10 seconds) between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. If your vehicle skids, remember not to hit the brakes! Ease off the accelerator and steer slightly into the direction of the skid until you gain control. Turn with steady movements rather than jerky motions.

8).A common problem is getting stuck in the snow and before you know it your wheels spin but your car goes nowhere. This is when emergency equipment is most important. Don't continue to spin your wheels; you'll only wind up in a deeper rut. Instead, pour sand, salt or gravel around the drive wheels to give them something to grab on to and improve traction (an old carpet is ideal). You can also shovel snow away from the wheels and out from under the car to clear a pathway.

9). Ice is even more dangerous, because the thicker it is, the harder it is to see. When running or standing water freezes on the road, it forms black ice. This can linger in the shadows cast by trees and buildings throughout an otherwise sunny day.

So if there has been a sharp frost overnight, be careful, especially when driving through shadows that keep the sun off corners and roundabouts. Hopefully these tips will help keep you driving safely this winter. We work very hard to bring you the best car leasing deals in the UK, so once you're driving your brand new car, we like to help you enjoy driving it safely.