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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Travel tips for winter driving

AFP   December 19, 2011
First Published: 11:53 IST(19/12/2011) | Last Updated: 11:53 IST(19/12/2011)
Young people are among those least prepared for winter driving, according to a new survey from satellite navigation manufacturer Garmin.



The company revealed December 14 that 57 percent of 18-24-year-olds in the UK said they were unprepared for winter driving, despite being the ones likely to cover the most ground.

That's compared to an average of 34 percent across all age ranges that said that they were unprepared, with men slightly more likely to have taken precautions for driving in hazardous Northern Hemisphere winter conditions than women.

A total of just 15 percent said that they were 'very prepared', having taken simple measures such as keeping a blanket in the car, carrying spare windscreen wash, a spade or ensuring their breakdown cover was up-to-date.

Tips for driving in cold weather
Courtesy Garmin, UK IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists)

Before you set off
  • Make sure windows and lights are clear, and remove snow from the roof of the car.
  • Check the battery, anti-freeze and tire pressure of your car.
  • Pack an emergency kit, with ice scraper and de-icer, a torch and batteries, warm clothes and blankets, boots, a first aid kit, jump leads, a shovel, and an atlas.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged.
  • Pack some food, fluids and any personal medications.

While driving
  • Watch your speed in snow -- not too fast that you risk losing control, but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when you need it.
  • Start gently from a standstill, avoiding high revs. Stay in a higher gear for better control, and if it is slippery, in a manual car move off in a higher gear, rather than just using first.
  • Double or triple your stopping distance.
  • If you get yourself into a skid the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the pedals and steer.
  • Avoid using the brake if you can help it -- make sure you have lost enough speed before corners and hills so that you don't need to try to slow down.

If you get stuck
  • Keep track of where you are and stay close to your vehicle -- although avoid standing in front of it and stay off any roads.

More information: http://www.drivingadvice.org.uk

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