Challenges of Driving on Ice

Advice for people over the age of 50 Driving on Ice

With temperatures beginning to fall and the prospect of a cold winter ahead of us, every driver should make sure that they know how to drive safely on ice. After all, we cannot always rely on government services to make sure that the roads have been properly gritted, especially if we experience another extended period of cold and the dwindling supplies of grit that go with it.

The Dangers of Driving in Ice:

  • Skidding is the most common danger that you will encounter when driving on ice.
  • Ice is often combined with snow, which can lead to poor visibility.
  • The sun can reflect off the ice and cause glare.
  • Due to the extended travel time that icy conditions can require and the possibility that you will need to change your route, you may find that you run out of fuel before finishing your journey.

Tips For Driving well in Icy Conditions:

  • Plan your journey to take advantage of major routes, as these are more likely to have been gritted.
  • Allow extra time for your journey and make sure you have a full tank of fuel.
  • Wear sunglasses to prevent glare from interfering with your driving.
  • Watch out for black ice. Even if the road seems clear, ice can be lurking in shaded areas.
  • Due to the dangers of skidding, stopping distances are ten times longer in icy conditions than normal road conditions.
  • If you do feel your vehicle start to skid, do not panic. Press down on the clutch and turn your wheel into the direction of skidding. Your vehicle will straighten, at which point you should steer your vehicle along the road. Resist the temptation to brake as this will lengthen your skid as the wheels lock up.
  • Drive gently and slowly in icy weather. Slower speeds will reduce your risk of skidding.
  • Use third or fourth gear when you must drive down a hill. Higher gears help to prevent wheel spin.
  • Make sure your shoes are not wet or snowy, as these can slip on your pedals and cause an accident.

Make sure you have emergency supplies in your car so that you can stay safe if the weather makes it unsafe to drive. You should include a torch with extra batteries, food and water, a blanket, any medications that you take regularly, a car repair kit and some sand that you can use to give your wheels extra traction.