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Tips for driving on ice

Minimize your risk and avoid unexpected car insurance claims by paying attention to your safety when driving on ice.

When the weather turns bad and you’re out in your vehicle, it can be tempting to put your foot down to drive home as quickly as possible.

However, icy roads and excessive speeds spell trouble. Take heed of our simple tips for driving safely on ice to cut down the chance of accidents or expensive car insurance claims. 

How to drive on ice 

Lower your speed on icy roads 

Authorities set speed limits according to normal driving conditions and that means you shouldn’t be trying to reach them when you’re driving on ice. Ensure you’re driving safely under the speed limit and remember that driving quickly results in more dangerous accidents. It’s harder to come to a quick stop when ice is on the road. 

Give yourself plenty of space 

Because stopping is more difficult – and up to ten times slower – on ice, make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re driving with at least three times as much space between you and the car in front as you would normally. 

Break gently when you’re on ice 

Make sure you brake gently when driving on ice; otherwise you run the risk of skidding. If your wheels begin to lock, ease off the brake gently to remain in control. 

Listen to your tires

If you suspect you may be driving on ice but aren’t sure, listen out for your tires. Silent tires are a good indication you’re driving on ice and you should adjust your driving accordingly. 

Driving uphill 

When you’re driving up steep hills, avoid stopping the car, it could behave unpredictably and become stuck or swerve off course in icy conditions. 

Driving downhill 

If driving downhill, begin your descent as slowly as you can and make sure you switch to a low gear if you have to stop for any reason. However, if you can avoid stopping your car at all when going downhill, then so much the better. Be careful not to get too close to cars in front of you, and try and avoid steep hills on icy days if possible. 

How to recover on ice 

Skidding on ice 

If you do skid, depress the clutch and turn your steering wheel into the direction of the skid. Don’t brake – this is more likely to lock your wheels and make the skid worse – instead, take your foot off the accelerator. 

Prepare for driving on ice

There are some things you can do before even getting into your car, such as making sure you have a scraper and de-icer on hand for emergencies. Also ensure you always have a charged mobile phone, a first aid kit and a tow-rope in your car, as you never know what problems you could encounter when driving on an icy road. 

Driving safely on ice means you’re less likely to suffer injury while on the road and less likely to lose your no claims bonus, which, if it happened, could drive up the cost of your car insurance. Pay attention to safety on the road when you’re driving on ice for a win-win situation and a safe journey home.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+

Posted 12:57 PM

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