in the bleak midwinter - snow and ice

  • make sure you clear the windows for all round visibility, as well as the snow from the roof of your car
  • a squirt of WD-40 will prevent your door locks freezing up
  • get your speed right - too fast reduces control, too slow loses momentum
  • set off gently in second gear, avoiding high revs. High gears improve control
  • plan your journey - busier roads are more likely to be gritted
  • on bends, reduce speed early, before you turn the wheel
  • slow down before you descend a hill
  • keep moving, even if it is only at walking pace
  • keep a track of where you are so you can tell the emergency services your location if you break down
  • if you need to leave the car, stand well away from the traffic flow
  • on motorways and dual carriageways it's always best to get out of the car - stand behind it and on the other side of the safety barrier or up the bank where possible
  • don't keep trying to move if the wheels spin. This will only dig you in deeper
  • turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way
  • be sparing with the accelerator to ease your car out
  • use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car
  • pour sand, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction
  • shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going

Driving in snow is challenging. Even on local and familiar roads, cars can get stuck, and can skid at very low speed. We've all seen images of abandoned cars and people forced to spend the night on the roadside, so ask yourself,do you really need to make the journey?