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our top tips for safe driving in icy conditions

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this time last year, Britain was under a blanket of snow and ice.

We recommend you stay indoors or try public transport, but if you need to drive you should take extra care.

February 1st 2019 info

When the snow starts falling and the ice starts forming, it's important you know how to keep safe if you have to travel on the road. At findandfundmycar.com, we've put together our top tips for staying smart, steady and safe when there's snow and ice on the roads.

Don't pour boiling hot water on your windscreen

Start as you mean to go on: safely. Hot water on a frozen windscreen is dangerous for a few reasons. Firstly, the sudden change in temperature can cause your windscreen to crack. Worse still, it could lead to a shattered windscreen; leaving you unable to drive at all and with a problem that's costly to repair, and particularly dangerous for anyone inside the car at the time.

Secondly, you might not know that boiling water running off your windscreen can also damage your paintwork. The extreme temperature can lead to your car's protective wax layer being melted, leaving a tough-to-remove stain in the process.

Instead of using hot water, make sure you have a proper de-icer and ice scraper handy.

Make Sure Your Windscreen is Completely Clear.

The Highway Code is very clear here: “Before you set off you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows. You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users”

Don't cut corners on this one. Make sure you thoroughly clear and demist your windscreen to make sure you can drive safely. After all, saving a life is far more important than saving time.

Drive Extremely Carefully

It goes without saying that you should always drive as safely as possible, but when conditions are icy, there are extra precautions you can to take to stay safe.

First things first: don't pull away in first gear! Instead, use second gear to pull away, paying particular attention to lifting your clutch very gently in order to avoid wheel spin.

It's important you avoid erratic and unpredictable driving, so make sure you focus on braking, steering and accelerating as smoothly as possible. If you can steer yourself out of trouble, do so: using your brakes to avoid danger should be avoided whenever possible.

Last, but by no means least, be aware that winter stopping distances change drastically in snow and ice. At 50mph in normal conditions, the combined thinking and braking distance is 53m. In snowy and icy conditions, that figure can increase to 395m.

You should leave plenty of space between yourself and the car in front and, stick to routes and lanes that are clear of ice, slush and snow whenever possible.

Above all, try not to drive in poor conditions – before setting off, think about whether or not your journey is absolutely necessary. And if you have to drive, make every effort to be safe!

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

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