Winter Driving Guidance
As the festive season kicks off and many of us drive to see friends, family and loved ones remember that driving in the winter is very different than in other times of the year. We thought we’d share with you, our winter driving guidance, as it’s useful not only for our own in-house sheet piling teams, but all those driving during this winter period.
Hazardous conditions such as snow, ice and floods can be present with longer periods of darkness. Different conditions can be present in different areas and at different times. A single journey may require the driver to adapt to multiple weather conditions, traffic conditions and road conditions. When faced with adverse weather a driver should adapt to the conditions. The driver should gradually reduce their speed and increase distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front accordingly. In very bad conditions, avoid driving completely, unless you absolutely have to make the journey and driving is the only option.
Before driving in winter always check the following:
- Check your windscreen is clear – remove any ice, snow and dirt from the windows, roof and bonnet of the vehicle before setting off.
- Replace worn or damaged wiper blades and ensure they are not frozen to the windscreen before setting off.
- Ensure windscreen wash is fully topped up and a suitable additive is included to prevent it freezing.
- Make sure all lights are working and lenses clean including fog lights. Remember to turn off fog lights as conditions improve as not to dazzle other drivers.
- You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. If you use fog lights, remember to switch these off conditions improve so as not to dazzle other drivers.
- Consider using winter tyres which provide better grip in cold and wet conditions. The AA recommend at least 3mm of tread for the winter driving. Ensure the tyres are properly inflated to the right air pressure. This is to ensure that the tyres are in the optimum condition to maximise performance.
- Consider using snow chains if there is thick snow.
- If driving in snow and ice take it slow. Stopping distances in snow and ice can be 10 times longer.
- Take gentle and slow maneuvers when driving in snow and ice as these offer more control over the vehicle.
- Try to pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin and when using brakes apply them gently.
- If driving uphill try to leave plenty of room, maintain a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill and stopping the vehicle unnecessarily.
- If driving downhill try to leave plenty of room, slow down before the hill and use a low gear.
- In the event your vehicle gets stuck, straighten the steering up then proceed to clear the snow from the wheels.
Always remember to:
- Allow extra time for winter journeys.
- Allow time for you to de-ice the vehicle.
- Check fuel levels and try to keep the fuel tank at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
- Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer to give you maximum visibility in winter conditions.
- Try and use major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted throughout the winter months.
- Check for road closures, heavy traffic and adverse weather before setting off.
- Have an emergency supplies and breakdown kit in the vehicle.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of the UK's leading piling contractors. Owning and operating a comprehensive range of specialist piling equipment Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd also carry extensive stocks of new and used piles enabling rapid reaction to any urgent requirements or emergency situations.