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Winter Driving Tips From the IAM

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Now is the time to start thinking about how to deal with wintry weather, so that when it comes along you are ready for it.”

Rodger offers six tips to drive confidently in icy conditions:

Ensure you have de-icer and a scraper. Before setting off, make sure you clean any ice or condensation from all the windows so that your visibility is clear.

When you set off, do so in second gear, releasing the clutch and accelerating gently.

As you drive, stay in higher gears to minimise the possibility of wheel spin.

Stopping distances are increased by up to 10 times in icy conditions, so leave much more distance than usual between your car and the car in front.

If your car loses grip, take your foot off the accelerator, and point the front wheels where you want to go.

Bear in mind, after the frost has gone, ice can remain in areas which are shaded by trees and buildings, including bridges.

Rodger said: “We all need to respect that the weather changes and make adjustments to deal with it. Being mentally prepared as well as having the right equipment is vital, so think about last year, any problems it caused you, and what you need to do to overcome them if they recur this year.”

Honest John adds, "Switch off the ESP. While ESP is an excellent driver aid in wet conditions it can become confused on very slippery frozen surfaces and can counteract your naturel reactions. I've had this proved to me on a skid pan, so I'm not making it up."

"Also, it's a bit late now because stocks have diminished, but try to get hold of a set of four winter tyres. They work better than summer tyres in all types of cold weather and are better than four wheel drive in snow."

More at www.drivingadvice.org.uk.

Peter Rodger is the IAM’s chief examiner

The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.


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