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Top tips for driving on ice and in the hail
The weather this winter is predicted to be cold and wet, and therefore we have written an article about the best ways to keep yourself, and your vehicle, safe. Previously we have covered driving in snow and reparing your vehicle for winter conditions.
Driving on ice
Ice is one of the most hazardous of all driving conditions. Black ice is particularly dangerous because it is transparent and harder to spot compared to snow, frozen slush or thicker white ice. As a result, many drivers often don’t realise they are actually driving on ice and don’t reduce their speeds.
Here are some useful tips for driving in ice:
* If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe driving then it is best not to. You should feel confident and safe when trying to tackle dangerous conditions, particularly ice and snow.
* Make sure your windows are clear and you have high visibility before you start driving.
* You may need to leave as much as 10 times the normally recommended gap between you and the car in front. This is because you are more likely to skid on ice and your stopping distance is shorter than usual – among other things.
* Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or brake too harshly.
* All controls should be operated smoothly and slowly, particularly accelerating, steering and braking.
* Changing gears should also be done with caution. A higher gear may be more appropriate to aid the tyres gripping when moving off on compact ice.
Driving in hail
Hail storms are extremely dangerous to drive in. Hail can cause extensive damage to vehicle’s, as well as harming people. It also reduces visibility (as seen in the video above).
The following tips should always be followed when driving in hail storms:
* Stay inside the vehicle if possible. Hail falls at fast speeds and can cause injury.
* Plan your trip – know where is safer to drive and where to avoid.
* If the conditions are particularly severed it is highly recommended that you stop driving if possible. It would be preferable to pull over somewhere that your vehicle is concealed (to prevent damage), but if this is not possible then a hard shoulder or somewhere safe will suffice.
* Side windows and back glass are not as strong or reinforced as windshields, therefore (when possible) keep your car angled so that the hail is hitting the front of your car.
Next week we will cover driving in fog and high winds.