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Tips for driving in the snow

IAM RoadSmart urged motorists to avoid travelling in extreme weather, but published advice for people who do have to drive in poor conditions.

Fully clearing windscreens, increasing distances from the vehicle in front and avoiding high revs are among tips for driving in snow issued by a road safety charity.

IAM RoadSmart urged motorists to avoid travelling in extreme weather, but published advice for people who do have to drive in poor conditions.

Before setting off, drivers should clear all snow from the windows, mirrors, roof and bonnet of their car to stop it obscuring their view, according to the organisation.

Cars should be started gently. If roads are icy and a manual car is being driven, motorists should move off in a higher gear rather than first gear to avoid wheel spin.

It is more important than normal to drive at the appropriate speed when there is snow on the ground.

Driving too fast risks a loss of control, while driving too slowly means a car may not have enough momentum to get up a slope.

It could take up to 10 times as long to stop on snow or ice.

This should be taken into account when judging the safe distance from the vehicle being followed to enable more time to slow down using engine braking, which is less likely to induce a skid.

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving advice Richard Gladman also called on drivers to take appropriate supplies and equipment with them.

He said: “Many of the problems associated with travel during snow could be avoided if people planned in advance.

“People routinely travel with only the minimum of safety equipment, without realising their journey could be a lot longer than expected.

“At the very least you should have a shovel, torch, blanket, jump leads and tow rope.

“You should ensure your mobile phone is fully charged, and the number of your recovery organisation is saved into it.

“A bottle of water and a snack may also prove useful and don’t set out without knowing the locations of petrol stations on your way.”

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