8 Top Tips for Winter Road Safety

8 Top Tips for Winter Road Safety

As forecasters predict an end to the mild temperatures with a wave of cold weather and storms due to hit towards the end of this week, motoring experts are expecting widespread travel chaos. According to research commissioned by Goodyear Tyres UK, over half (53 per cent) of motorists surveyed say they find driving in the snow and ice nerve-racking, with a further 48 per cent listing de-icing wind screens in the mornings as a problem.

Kate Rock-Rees, PR & Corporate Communications Manager UK&I, Goodyear Tyres shares her top tips to ensure winter road safety:

“Preparation is key for motorists all year round, but particularly during winter when road conditions are harsher and accidents are more likely.

“Simply checking you have adequate tread on your tyres will ensure your car will grip better when driving on ice and snow. If you live in an area that is commonly known for extreme winter conditions – where temperatures are regularly below seven degrees – you should consider changing to winter tyres.

1. Use a higher gear to start and pull away:

  1. Spinning your wheels quickly can dig the vehicle deeper into the snow so try to resist the temptation. Placing the car into a higher gear will mean less torque output and spin, giving you a greater chance of driving out of snow or mud.

 2. Check your tyres for wear:

Check your tyre pressure and tread depth regularly (Goodyear recommends a minimum tread depth of 4mm for winter tyres to ensure optimal performance). You can easily check your tyre tread depth by placing a 20p coin into the tread of your tyre. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, the tyre is approaching the legal minimum tread depth and you should consider replacing it.

 3.  Watch your speed:

  1. It seems like an obvious point, but the roads are far more treacherous in poor weather. Be mindful of increased stopping distances in wet or icy conditions which will affect your tyres grip on the road.

4. Don’t ‘pump’ your brakes:

If you have anti-lock brakes, keep a steady pressure on the brake pedal so that your ABS system can bring your car to a halt quickly and safely. You’ll have more time to steer the car out of danger, and this could prevent you from skidding further.

5. Keep your distance:

Braking distances can increase by up to ten times in snow and icy conditions. Don’t just rely on brakes to bring you to a stop – make sure to decrease through your gears too to aid you safely.

6. Be careful over bridges or passes:

They are well known locations for icy patches, so slow down when going over them.

7. Pack an emergency kit:

As winter weather is increasingly unpredictable, Goodyear recommends that all motorists pack an essential kit in case you find yourself stranded. Emergency supplies should include warm clothing, blanket, snacks, water, red warning triangle and a torch. An in-car phone charger is also recommended.

8. Avoid distractions:

You’ll need all the concentration you can muster in heavy snowy conditions as the visibility is likely to be very poor. Avoid distractions so you can get to your destination safely.

Stay safe and take precautions.

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