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  • Writer's pictureDillon O'Toole

Top 10 winter driving tips

1. Before a frosty night or the possibility of snow; ensure the wipers are switched off and not on intermittent, lift up your windscreen wipers from the windscreen, this prevents the wiper blade rubber sticking to the glass, preventing damage to the blades or wiper motor.

2. Plan extra time before your journey, remove all loose snow from the bonnet, roof and glass. Ensure all window glass is defrosted and clear before commencing your journey. Do not leave your vehicle to warm-up and defrost unlocked and unattended.

3. Carry a warm blanket or sleeping bag. A fully charged mobile phone with charger. Warm clothing for all occupants of the vehicle. A bag of cat litter, to aid as a traction aid. A flask with a warm drink. Inform others of your travel plans.

4. Before the driver enters the vehicle to commence driving, ensure footwear is clear of snow or ice.

5. Slow and gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe winter driving. Select a higher gear when driving off, with minimum acceleration to avoid wheel-spin. Avoid sharp steering, braking or accelerator inputs. Drive cautiously and with reduced speed. Remember that stopping distances are increased by 10 times in snow and ice.

6. Do not use cruise control while driving in snow or ice,

7. Use any additional vehicle driver aids that are available (such as ‘Snow and Ice” settings). Ensure that you deselect these aids for normal road conditions. Refer to the vehicles Manufacturers Operating Manual (M.O.M).

8. Avoid unnecessary journeys. Do not take chances. Use main roads as they are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.

9. In the event that the vehicle does become stranded, if safe to do so, stay with your vehicle. Keep the engine running ensuring the exhaust is clear, keep a window slightly open while awaiting assistance.

10. Do not be a snow tourist. A lot of valuable time is taken up by our emergency services, rescuing stranded drivers that had no need to be there in the first place.

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