What to be aware of when driving on snow and ice

The most recent figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 29 people were killed, 251 seriously injured, and 2,274 slighted injured in reported accidents on Great Britain’s roads when there was snow or ice on the surface. However, there are a number of other contributing factors that make the roads even more dangerous in adverse weather conditions.

In light of this, we have created a list of things that you should be mindful of when driving on snowy or icy roads.

Cobbled roads

The gaps found between cobblestones will allow cold air to infiltrate downwards, which can cause a build-up of ice. What’s more, the smooth and shiny surface of cobblestones doesn’t provide as much grip as modern road surfaces like asphalt.

Steep hills

Snow and ice will reduce friction between your car tyres and the road surface. Therefore, you might not be able to stop or slow down on a steep hill and the chance of your car sliding out of control will increase.

Tunnels

Even though tunnels may seem protected against the affects of ice and snow, ground water can make its way onto the road surface and freeze in sub-zero conditions. The fact that motorists think tunnels are safer than exposed roads can also make things more dangerous.

Bridges

Seeing as bridges are typically higher up than most roads, they tend to collect a lot more ice and snow in a shorter space of time. For this reason, bridges have been known to take road users by surprise, meaning you must take extra care when crossing.

Sharp bends

It goes without saying that if you enter a sharp bend too quickly the back end of your car will slide out of control. In this situation, you should always turn into the skid and not in the opposite direction to regain control.

Straight motorways

While motorways are usually the first roads to be gritted, the number and speed of other cars can be a hazard. You are much more likely to skid and slide when travelling at high speed, so drive according to the conditions.

Built-up areas

Along with paying close attention to fellow motorists and pedestrians, built-up areas can also prove problematic due to constant starting and stopping. Sharp acceleration is likely to result in wheel spin, while heavy braking could cause your car to skid.