Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow.
This week, with temperatures nearing freezing, he is advising on driving on frost and ice.
Elstow said: “Now is the time to start thinking about how to adapt your driving to the wintry weather, so that when conditions become dangerously slippery you are ready to react safely.”
Elstow offers seven tips to drive confidently in icy conditions:
1) Ensure you have de-icer and a scraper. Before setting off, make sure you clean any ice or condensation from all the windows and mirrors to optimise visibility.
2) When you set off, do so in second gear, releasing the clutch and accelerating gently, avoiding high revs – this will prevent wheel spin.
3) As you drive, stay in higher gears and don’t drive too fast to avoid losing control.
4) Stopping distances are increased by up to 10 times in icy conditions, so leave plenty of distance between your car and the car in front – plan so that you’re not relying on your brakes to stop – on ice they may not do that for you.
5) If your car loses grip, take your foot off the accelerator, and point the front wheels where you want to go.
6) Keep to the main roads as they’re more likely to be gritted. Also bear in mind that after the frost has gone, ice can remain in areas which are shaded by trees and buildings.
7) Where you park can help reduce your risk of being involved in someone else’s accident. So look for off road parking where possible or gritted roads if not.