With white frosty mornings also comes icy roads … that’s why Richard Gladman from IAM RoadSmart has put together some advice on how to deal with driving and riding on ice – and keep Jack Frost at bay.
- Only drive if it is really necessary. In very bad weather it is better to stay in or take public transport rather than risk an accident. Always check the weather and road conditions on your route before setting off; if police advise not to travel, then do not risk it
- Make sure you know how the demister settings on your car work and how to adjust them properly. If you are riding, a clean scratch-free visor with a properly fitted insert will help you stay mist free
- Never pour boiling water on the screen as the sudden temperature change may cause cracks. Prevention is better than a cure so if possible cover the glass overnight with cardboard or an old sheet to prevent freezing or invest in a windscreen cover
- If you haven’t done so already, get an anti-freeze check at your local garage or fast-fit centre. Keep your washer bottle topped up with an even stronger concentration of de-ice
- It might sound like old news, but you may need up to 10 times the distance to stop in icy conditions – increase your following distance to account for this. If a car has to stop suddenly or worse still, a crash occurs, you will need that extra time to react and stop
Richard, head of driving and riding standards at the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, said: “As ever, preparation and planning are the key to worry-free driving when the mercury plummets. Plan your route carefully as major routes are likely to be treated with salt and less likely to be icy, although this might still form in dips and on bridges and in shaded areas. Leave more time for your journey, respect the conditions and don’t rush. Factor in delays and give yourself plenty of time to clear the ice properly from all the windows of your car.”