IAM issues advice on driving in snow and ice

25th November 2013

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued advice for motorists who will be encountering ice and snow in the coming months.

Staying inside and avoiding travelling in vehicles is the main point of the advice, but for many people this is not an option. When the ice and snow covers the road it is important to adjust driving styles and be more aware of what is going on ahead.

Peter Rodger, chief examiner at the organisation, said that ensuring windows are completely clear and clean is the first step motorists should take before getting behind the wheel in the colder months.

This ensures that you have an all-round visibility before setting off. The organisation has also advised drivers to clear snow off the roof of a vehicle as this process can make a difference to other road users.

Speed control is vital in slippery conditions as driving too fast for the conditions can cause a driver to lose control. However, it can be a fine line, as driving too slowly can see a car lose momentum.

Mr Rodger added that it is important to start moving gently from stationary and avoid high revs. Staying in a higher gear can avoid skidding and maximise control. Starting off in second gear in a manual car is advisable.

The IAM recommends doubling or trebling normal stopping distances to ensure that drivers are not relying completely on their brakes to be able to stop, as in some cases this may not happen.

It is also important to plan journeys around busier roads as they are more likely to have been treated. Avoiding short cuts on minor roads is also crucial as these are less likely to be cleared or treated with salt, especially country lanes and housing estates.

Bends can be particularly tricky in icy conditions and motorists should always slow down before reaching a bend, so that by the time they reach it the speed has been reduced and they can turn the steering wheel and make the corner.