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Winter driving advice – SmartLearner Driving School

Different weather conditions can cause danger to road users, these include heavy rain, fog, snow, or ice. Drive SLOW, stopping distances can increase when these conditions are present. Other road users will be adapting their speed and driving, so there is no need for you to rush. 

snow queue

Before beginning your journey:

  • Allow extra time for your journeys, if you see that there is fog outside, wait until it begins to clear to ensure a safer journey.
  • Plan routes around major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted. Side roads and residential streets are less likely to be clear of hazards.
  • Try to get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to de-ice the car. Do not rush and attempt to pull window wipers free if they are frozen, you are at risk of damaging them.
  • Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer and wait until the windscreen’s fully demisted before driving.
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving so your feet do not slip on the pedals. for example, trainers with sturdy soles.
  • Check fuel levels – if driving in snow, there is a chance you may become stuck. Delays may also occur due to build-up of traffic, you may then need to find a different route that will use more fuel.  
  • If you drive an automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.

If roads are icy or are coated in snow:

  • Begin driving by pulling off in second gear, easing your foot off of the clutch carefully to avoid wheel-spin.
  • If you have to use your brakes apply them gently and within good time. Do not break harshly.
  • Driving uphill – leave plenty of room between other cars or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part bway up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
  • Driving downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear, and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can after the car in front.

If you become stuck in snow or ice:

  • If you get stuck, straighten the steering wheel and clear the snow from the wheels to enable movement.
  • Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels, the material will give the tyres some grip to roll over.

If you are interested in starting your driving lessons, call us on 0800 118 2001 or visit our driving lessons page HERE.

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