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Driving Safely in Winter Conditions

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Driving Safely in Winter Conditions

Matt Coughlan
March 13, 2009

It seems unusual for me to decide to write and article about driving in the snow during the 2nd week of spring, but as motorists in Scotland and Cornwall recently found out snow and ice hasn’t gone for good just yet. In the UK we are generally not geared up for snow, and that is why we keep getting caught out.

A mobile phone and membership to a breakdown service can both go a long way in getting yourselves out of trouble, especially during adverse weather conditions. However, it is almost a shame that we do not experience prolonged adverse weather conditions, as this would make snow chains a feasible purchase.

If snow is forecast ask yourself if a car journey is really necessary. If it is, ensure that you have packed warm clothes and sensible footwear. You may not need them, but they will make all the difference in the event of a break down.

Main roads are usually kept free of snow and ice by gritters. This makes pulling out of your drive or arriving at your destination the most likely time to be involved in an accident. When you reach the main roads, try and follow the paths of the vehicles before you as the weight of traffic will tend to clear the surface. Likewise avoid overtaking, and if using the Motorways avoid the fast lanes as they will gain a covering of snow and ice the quickest. You’ll often notice ridges of slush accumulating between the lanes, so try and stay in the middle of your lane to avoid these.

My general advice for those driving in snow and ice is just to take things easy. Reduce your usual driving speed, avoid sudden braking or turning (and certainly don’t brake whilst turning!), and maintain smooth operation of the accelerator and clutch.

Good Car insurance is a blessing in the event of an accident. You can compare car insurance< to find the best cover, and conduct a car insurance comparison to get the best price.

Source: Amazines.com

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