Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Driving in Ice and Snow

As a driving instructor in Gloucester, I would like to offer some advice about driving in bad weather, such as ice/snow. When giving driving lessons in Gloucester I cover lots of different types of roads and experience lots of differing weather conditions. An important point to remember when driving in  the winter is that ice /snow can be on patches of the same road, even when it looks clear. For instance if a road has been kept in the shade this will pose a greater risk of ice when temperatures are very low. So when driving always be aware of how much exposure a road has to sunlight, as this will inevitably change the conditions on the road's surface. Remember a stopping distance can be 10 times greater in snow and ice. When a car is on the road each tyre has contact with the road that is equivalent to the size of a CD case. Not a lot!
When cornering, this grip is reduced depending which way you are cornering, so avoid braking/accelerating on bends, as the weight of the vehicle will be thrown onto a corner of the vehicle, reducing the other tyres grip on the road. Even on a straight line sharp braking/accelerating reduces the grip of the tyre on the road surface, so be much more gentle in ice/snow.
Also, different types of surface offer different amounts of grip. For example concrete holds water more than tarmac and therefore when frozen will offer less grip. Block paving/cobbled streets can also be extremely hazardous in bad weather. So when driving in bad weather always be gentle on the brakes/gas; watch for shaded (therefore colder) sections of the road; adjust your speed and braking for different surface types.
Hopefully, you'll all have a safe winter on the roads.

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