Drivers Fact Sheets

Driving In Icy Conditions

Key Points

  1. It can take more than ten times longer to stop in icy conditions.
  2. Motorists should remember to check the spare tyre is of legal tread-depth and properly inflated.
  3. Motorists should also check their car battery. If it is going to fail it will be when the weather is cold.

The winter weather is likely to highlight many motorists’ lack of knowledge of how to drive in icy conditions.

When sub-zero temperatures are forecast and ice or black ice is inevitable, motorists should:

  1. Slow down, steer gently and avoid harsh turns, braking or acceleration.
  2. Keep a safe distance between themselves and other vehicles.
  3. Look well ahead to anticipate problems.
  4. When pulling away, use 2nd gear if possible to avoid wheel spin.
  5. When braking, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allowing the speed to fall, and use the brake pedal gently.
  6. If in a skid, turn the steering into the skid, easing off the accelerator but not braking suddenly.
  7. When cornering, allow the speed to reduce well before bends and corners by easing off the accelerator. Try to avoid using the accelerator in rounding a corner as it may cause wheel spin and result in a skid.
  8. When encountering black ice – which though not visible can be detected because the steering will feel light and/or the noise created by the tyres on the road will cease – reduce speed by easing off the accelerator rather than braking.

The most two most common breakdowns seen by RAC patrols are flat or non-serviceable batteries and punctured tyres.

The condition of the tyres should be checked for correct pressure and legal tread depth. The greater the depth, the more efficient the tyre is in wet weather and icy conditions.

Motorists should also remember to check the spare is of legal tread-depth and properly inflated. Failure to do so could result in being stranded and needing to call on expert help.

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I confirm I have read the fact sheet ‘Driving in Icy Conditions’

Signed…………………………………………………………………Date……………………………………………………

Name of Driver……………………………………………………Vehicle Reg………………………