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How to drive in the snow and winter weatherAdvice for Driving in the Snow.

We want you to be safe on the roads during the winter months. Before you embark on your journey ask yourself is it really necessary, especially if bad weather is forecast or snow is on the ground. If your journey is necessary then use these helpful tips to negotiate your way safely.

Before your journey

Bad Weather Driving

Winter driving tips

Moving Off – set off in 2nd gear; ease your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel spin, gentle manoeuvres are the way forward

Skidding – if your vehicle starts to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, gently depress the clutch and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid

Shoes – avoid driving in snow covered shoes, use dry comfortable shoes that won’t slip on the pedals

Lights – turn your lights on and increase your visibility to other motorists, use dipped headlights

Stuck! – straighten the steering, clear snow from wheels and place a sack/old rug in front of the driving wheels for grip. Once moving, try not to stop until on firmer ground

Speed – try to maintain a constant speed, giving yourself plenty of time to select a suitable gear before having to change

Braking – always apply the brakes gently; remember stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice & snow. If when braking your wheels start to lock, ease off the brakes.

Easy does it – try and avoid any sudden changes, to maintain traction. Aggressive acceleration/deceleration will undoubtedly result in traction loss, wheel spin and loss of control, by driving smoothly it will help maintain your grip

Loss of traction – if you experience/notice loss of traction, ease off the accelerator, then apply again smoothly. Do not make any aggressive moves

Engine revs – aim to keep them low and constant to obtain maximum grip in snow & ice conditions

Hills – try to avoid applying the brakes if on a hill whether heading up or down. The slower the engine the better

Uphill – when approaching a hill, speed up slightly to gain momentum

Downhill – slow down before approaching a downhill, when driving down a hill drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible to reduce skidding

Stuck in the snow

If you get stuck in snow:

Winter tyres

Depending on the severity of the weather you may wish to change your standard car tyres for winter tyres*. Winter tyres help increase friction and your control.

Winter tyres usually have a block like tread pattern to help dig into the snow and increase traction. Though there are different types of snow/winter tyres available. Consult your car manufacturer’s guide to understand which winter tyres would be suitable.

*Octagon Insurance does not charge you any additional premium if you do change your tyres, however we do ask you to notify us if you do change them and have them fitted by a qualified professional.

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