How to drive safely during the cold winter months

Unfortunately, the start of a brand-new year comes with a few more winter months with freezing cold weather. Driving in winter can be a little scary, especially if you’re a new driver. If you’re even a little bit apprehensive, reading this will mean you can have some advice under your belt. We’re here to give you some top tips on how to drive in the unforgiving winter weather.

Keep your distance

In super cold weather, the roads may be icy. If this is the case, stopping distances can increase by up to 10 times! This means that in a situation where you may need to stop quickly, you’ll need to be far away from the car in front to avoid a collision. Keeping your distance will ensure that you have this option, helping you drive safely.

Steer into a skid

On the off chance that your car is in a skid due to the icy weather conditions, it’s important to steer into the skid which will effectively stop it. This counteracts the process of a skid and should be done gently! This means if the rear of your car is going left, you should carefully steer to the left.

Slow speed and gentle manoeuvres

If you’re in danger of slippery roads, going slowly will be your best friend. As well as making you feel more in control, it will give you more opportunity to react to the weather and to other road users, ensuring you get home safely. It’s a similar story with gentle manoeuvres – caution is key in wintery weather!

Carry a breakdown and first aid kit

It’s always a good idea to have these kits in your car anyway, but in winter it’s especially important. Having a breakdown kit includes a fully charged phone or the facilities to charge it, high viz, a hazard triangle, a puncture repair kit and more. There will also be a blanket and warm clothing, and the first aid kit ensures you can stay safe until help arrives in the event of an incident or breakdown.

Pull away in second gear

In the event of ice and snow, first gear may not give you enough grip when moving off for the first time. Try pulling away in second gear – this will keep the revs down to a minimum which is what you want on snowy or icy roads. This may give you more confidence when driving in winter!

Check your tyres

In the lead up to winter, it could be an idea to check your tyres. In the UK, winter tyres aren’t essential, but they do make the driving experience easier. Winter tyres or all-season tyres become effective especially under 7°, meaning you can have sturdier grip on the road and a safer journey.

Ensure the car is ready for the drive

In winter, it’s very common to step outside ready for your journey to work and be faced with an icy vehicle. It’s essential to make sure that you completely de-ice your car before your drive! This includes clearing your headlights, brake lights, hazard lights and making sure your wiper blades are free to move. You’ll need your car working at its top potential in the winter!

Keep calm and keep driving!

It’s important that you stay calm! Driving in the winter can be intimidating, but if you’re thinking clearly and you don’t let the nerves get to you, then your driving will be more confident and safer. Take your time to think about your next move, and your journeys will be as easy as in the summertime.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll feel more confident about driving in these winter months! Here at Lanes School of Driving, we help our students build up the confidence to tackle any hurdles they may come across during their learning process. We can do the same for you, just enquire now by calling 020 8166 5678 or email us at .