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  • Ian McQuillan edit by Ellis Wood

How to drive in the Snow

Before setting off

Make sure all your windows and mirrors and FULLY cleared and DO NOT FORGET to clear snow off your roof as this may come off and block the view for another driver or may slide off the first time you apply the brakes. IT IS AN OFFENSE to drive without clearing your car fully.

General Advice

Drive carefully and plan further ahead, you may need to brake earlier and softer and take longer to speed up. Be careful whenever you approach bends and turns. Judge your gaps to be bigger to take all this into account and assume everyone else is trying to kill you :)

Speeding Up.

When going up through your gears try and use the next gear if possible.

For example if you would normally be in 2nd gear use 3rd. Using more powerful gears ie 1st and 2nd are more likely to make the car lose grip.

If you can pull away in 2nd gear that will lessen the chance of the wheels spinning and skidding, just be extra slow with the clutch and apply gentle acceleration.

Slowing Down.

Using your brakes has the highest possibility of the car skidding, so use Engine Braking as well as your breaks.

Try and use gears to help slow the car down, this is called Engine Braking.

For example select 2nd gear earlier than normal ie 20mph and BRING THE CLUTCH UP SLOWLY this will allow the engine to slow the car down.

Using this technique in addition to your braking will allow you to slow down gently reducing the risk of skidding.

If you do skid release the brake and apply again gently. This allows to car to regain grip. REPEAT until you get grip and control of the car.

ALWAYS steer into the skid as this will help you straighten up and regain control of the car.

If you cant pull away or are stuck in a spot, APPLY THE HANDBRAKE, find the bite and apply enough power so when you release the handbrake the car will jump forward allowing you to get out of the area you are stuck in. Please share so we all make it to work or home safely.

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