Driving in the snow is massively different to driving in normal weather conditions. Sometimes it is even encouraged to stay off the roads altogether during snow or when it has snowed, only making journeys when it is absolutely necessary.
Fresh snow fall can cover up ice so drivers are unable to see the dangers they may be coming up to. This makes it vital to travel very slowly and carefully even if you think it is safe to go a little faster. Driving over ice can cause the car to slide even at very low speeds so the consequences will be a lot worse if the car is travelling faster. This can be made even worse if it is currently snowing while you’re driving. This will reduce your visibility and stopping distances will be much longer. You will also need to keep a greater distance between you and the car in front.
No one can control or predict the weather and even very experienced drivers wouldn’t be able to drive easily in snow. If you have to drive during or after snow it is always a good idea to carry emergency equipment and have a full petrol tank. When driving in snow you may need to take a different and longer route and breaking down would not be ideal! Emergency equipment such as a shovel and salt/grit will help if your car becomes stuck in the snow and is unable to move. Shovelling away the snow around the wheels and gritting the road surrounding them will give the wheels more grip to move off.
A big problem with driving in snowy or icy conditions is skidding. It is important to know that braking will not help the situation even though that may be our first instinct. Braking may cause the car to spin and end up in a worse situation. To gain control again, you must always ease off the accelerator and gently steer towards the direction of the skid. Never steer sharply. If you must drive in snow, always plan your route, make sure you stay very aware of the dangers you may face and don’t risk travelling at normal speeds if it is not safe to do so. It is a good idea to use the gears to slow you down and do the gear changes in plenty of time to allow you to smoothly lift the clutch so the wheels slow down gradually.