As Christmas approaches many people are busy making plans to visit friends and relatives up and down the country. If you’ve got a family in tow, it’s often easier to pack your car up rather than travel by train or coach with them, but winter driving has its own hazards. Read on for some top tips for safe winter driving.
In the UK we are largely unused to driving in icy, snowy conditions, so when the winter weather is at its worst many drivers struggle. On family car journeys I am always chief navigator and in charge of the map reading and snacks. Preparation is key when you’re going on a long journey in winter.
Winter Driving Packing Essentials
Drinks – hot and cold
A snow shovel
Ice scraper and de-icer
A spare battery pack for your phone.
I would also suggest taking a map with you as well as your sat nav. I’ve lost count of the number of times our sat nav has failed us and I’ve had to guide us to our destination with a good old fashioned map.
Winter Driving in snow and ice
In Scandinavia, people learning to drive spend time learning to drive safely in the extreme winter weather they have over there. In the UK this is not often the case, your instructor may touch upon how to deal with different driving conditions, but the only thing we’re really prepared for is rain.
When driving in icy conditions, avoid braking suddenly, this may cause you to skid and lose control.
Drive slower than normal to reduce your chances of skidding and having an accident.
Make sure you approach bends and corners with extra care, always look ahead and anticipate the conditions ahead.
If you lose control, don’t panic! Take your foot off the accelerator, and position you wheels in the direction you want to go in.
For more advice and information on driving safely in the winter, you can download this useful ebook from Chill Insurance, providers of some of the cheapest car insurance available in the UK.
A little while ago I wrote a post about facing my fears. One of my biggest fears is snow and ice. I cannot bear it. I’m watching the weather forecast now and they’ve said it might snow this week. I’m already starting to feel sick and my snow phobia is really kicking in.
I hate the snow and ice. I’ve got a real fear of slipping, falling and hurting myself. I used to slip and fall and bounce. Then when I fell I started breaking things (mainly myself) and since I’ve ruined my spine and had the operations, I’m terrified of falling and ending up in a wheelchair. It could happen.
For years I couldn’t leave the house when it snowed, I’d call in sick at work and just ride it out. Then I was given a pair of those ice grippers which genuinely changed my life and I could leave the house again. But I’m still frightened to go out, especially by myself. I know the chances of me falling are vastly reduced with the grippers, but if I’m out by myself there’s a real, genuine fear that I’ll topple over and really hurt myself.
If it doesn’t snow this week then it might happen next week. It’s pretty much guaranteed to happen at some point over the next few wintery months. The thought fills me with horror. No really. I know like half the nation I should dance with joy, get the sledge out and start building a snowman, but really that’s not for me.
You can keep your snow and you can keep your ice. I’ll stay inside and keep warm and safe if I can. I’m slowly getting my nerve up, it’s a vast improvement on where I used to be and how I used to panic at the very thought. I still feel sick though, horribly sick. It’s snow joke.
Do you have any phobias? Are you frightened of snow and ice too?