How to Safely Drive when it Snows in the UK?

How to Safely Drive when it Snows in the UK?

It’s not quite the white Christmas we’d hoped for, but we’ll take it, it’s finally snowed! Probably not alone in saying that the first thought that springs to mind when opening the curtains to see a layer of white in the garden is where can we go sledging. Unfortunately, due to the COVID restrictions we’re under, we won’t be able to enjoy these snow days like we’re used to and will probably just have to settle for a snowball fight in the back garden. As we’re not quite sure that driving to your local sledge spot comes under the category of ‘essential travel’.

But given how confused we all are, who knows!

As we’re a mobility App, SKOOT has the responsibility of helping our “friends” to get around as safely as possible. Whether that’s advising you to avoid driving with people outside of your bubbles or giving you a few pointers on how to drive safely in tough conditions.

So if you’re heading out for your weekly shop or travelling to see your Aunt (even if it’s just a wave through the window) – we hope you can get there safely. 

Driving on icy roads can be incredibly challenging to even the most experienced drivers. So if you do need to pop out, it’s important that you and your car are prepared for the wintery conditions before you set off, that doesn’t just mean making sure you’ve got snacks for the drive.

Keep reading to find out more.

Precautions you Should Take before Driving in Snow or Ice

Firstly, before driving it’s important that you ask yourself whether the drive is completely necessary or whether you can wait until the conditions improve.

If it’s a must – follow these tips to help you stay safe: 

  1.     Make sure that your windscreen is fully clear (that means the whole window, not just a peep-hole)
  2.     Drive slowly leaving a larger gap between you and the car in front – icy roads increase braking distance by up to 10 times as much (don’t try it)
  3.     If you skid, steer slowly into the direction you are heading (but also often skidding is because you are braking, so try driving slower with less breaking)
  4.     Make sure you are aware of upcoming hazards and other cars around you (helps to have your nav on and to plan your route)
  5.     When accelerating, braking, steering and changing gears, make sure you do so as smoothly as possible. 
  6.     A higher gear is favourable for extra grip on the ice 
  7.     Don’t panic if something goes wrong, it will probably make it worse (screaming helps sometimes)
  8.     Do some basic maintenance checks on your car; windscreen fluid with driver, tyres (usually 4 help), brakes, battery.

Even if it’s not snowing outside the low temperatures decrease your grip on the road and give you less control of the car, so please follow the guidelines as best as possible!

Also don’t forget your coat, being stranded in your car is no fun, and trying to do an ice angel without one is even worse.

What if I am unable to drive?

No need to worry – download SKOOT and use our latest feature Errands. Errands is a tool that connects you with friends that drive and enables you to ask for help with picking up items, whether that’s a prescription of click & collect shopping (find out more here). 

So if you don’t feel comfortable driving in these tricky conditions or are stuck at home due to COVID, make sure you use SKOOT!

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