How to Prepare for Driving in Snow & Ice this Winter
Added: 23 January 2019
Many years ago, the idea of driving a car during the winter months was terrifying. Skidding on ice was inevitable; tyres would get clogged with snow; and there was no guarantee the car would even start when the key was turned.
Thankfully, automotive technology has come a long way since those perilous days, and winter driving is no longer a chore. Thanks to the innovations available across the range of Volkswagen SUVs - such as anti-lock braking systems, electronic stabilisation control, and four-wheel drive - winter driving is simpler, and safer, than at any other point in history.
In terms of preparing for driving in snow and ice this winter, then, the first tip we can offer is a simple one: choose a vehicle that includes driver-assistance systems. While these systems cannot guarantee absolute safety, they can make a significant difference. In particular, it’s worth looking at VW SUVs, as most newer models come complete with the ABS and ESC every driver can benefit from. If you do not currently own a Volkswagen SUV and wish to benefit from the huge benefits, they offer during the winter months, please do contact Heritage Volkswagen for more information on the ranges we have available.
Secondly, it’s also helpful to change to winter tyres. As one would expect given the name, winter tyres are specially designed to help improve grip on the road, which can be hugely advantageous. In particular, if you’ll be driving on rural - and therefore unsalted - roads during a cold snap, winter tyres are an essential investment.
Moving on from the vehicle itself, there are ways and means of preparing yourself for the experience of driving in winter conditions by refreshing your own knowledge of driving on ice and snow. As a general rule, the best method of driving in treacherous conditions is to go as slowly as conceivably possible, as this allows for the most effective control over the vehicle. It’s also important to avoid sudden actions, such as heavy braking or harsh steering, wherever possible; even with all the driver assistance programmes up and running, such actions can make a skid more likely in challenging conditions.
You may also find it beneficial to follow your local council on social media. Most councils will provide information on when they are gritting and which roads have been gritted, which allows you to plan your journey more effectively. By only driving on gritted roads, you can be sure of a safer experience as you drive from A to B.
Finally, it’s also important to prepare a “winter driving” bag and keep it in your car at all times. If the weather turns while you are out, or you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident, then a bag of essential supplies - such as food, water, and extra blankets - is hugely beneficial. You may also find it helpful to purchase a cheap, second-hand phone and keep it in your winter bag, so even if your main phone runs out of battery, you can always call for help if required.
Driving in snow and ice can be difficult, but by taking the preparations listed above, you should be well-equipped to enjoy a safe driving experience all the way through to spring.
Contact us today to find your perfect vehicle for driving in the snow and ice this Winter.