Experts issue winter driving warnings amid Met Office alert for disruptive snow
By Laura Linham
12th Jan 2024 | News
The Met Office has issued a warning that disruptive snow is expected next week across the UK, as an arctic airmass is set to influence the weather. This comes amid a surge in Google searches for "Met Office weather forecast snow," which have increased by 1485% in the UK over the past month.
In response, tyre and road safety experts etyres have issued an urgent warning to UK drivers, including those in our region, about often overlooked winter driving safety tips. The importance of these tips cannot be overstated, as failure to follow them not only increases the risk of accidents but could also lead to fines up to £2,500, particularly for PCV or goods vehicles. BMW and Mercedes owners, known for driving rear-wheel-drive vehicles, are highlighted as being particularly at risk in snowy conditions.
Richard Croft, Operations Director at etyres, advises motorists to remain vigilant as temperatures drop.
"The unpredictable nature of UK weather often brings sudden bouts of snow and ice, catching drivers off guard. We strongly advise motorists to remain vigilant as the temperature drops in the upcoming days and weeks," he said.
"Drivers must prepare for worst-case scenarios, ensuring they can avoid getting stranded and maintain control of their vehicles on icy roads.
"Understanding how to prevent wheelspin in winter conditions is vital, as it can be a lifesaver, preventing tyres from losing traction and avoiding dangerous skids or collisions. Drivers should exercise caution by releasing the clutch slowly and driving in the highest possible gear. In the unfortunate event of a car skidding, steering in the direction of the rear of the vehicle is recommended, while avoiding abrupt braking to regain control and navigate through challenging winter conditions safely."
Etyres shares lesser-known tips for winter driving that could be lifesavers:
- Avoid releasing the clutch quickly in winter, as it can cause wheelspin and loss of control.
- If skidding, steer in the direction of the rear wheels and avoid abrupt braking.
- Drive in the highest gear possible to maintain tyre grip on icy roads.
- Use rubber floor mats under tyres for extra traction if stuck.
- Keep sunglasses in your car for low winter sun, which can cause dazzling.
- Use cat litter to increase wheel traction and demist windscreens.
- Ensure tyres are in optimum condition, with recommended tread depth and pressure.
With rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Mazda MX-5, Porsche 911, and BMW 3 Series being particularly vulnerable to winter conditions, extra caution is advised. The use of winter tyres can provide improved grip and safety.
Stay informed and prepared as we approach the winter months, and ensure your vehicle is ready to handle whatever the weather may bring.