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Driving Lessons In The Snow with

Preparing for a driving lesson in the snow in the UK winter can be a challenging yet essential skill for drivers. To ensure safety and build confidence on snowy roads, it’s important to familiarize yourself with specific driving techniques and understand how to adapt to the challenging conditions. This blog will guide you through key aspects your Bookinstructor ADI will teach you, such as the MSPSL routine, managing driving speed, improving grip, reducing skid risks, gear usage, and understanding stopping distances in snow compared to dry and wet conditions.

1. Understanding MSPSL Routine in Snow

Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, and Look (MSPSL) is a fundamental routine in driving. In snowy conditions, this becomes even more crucial. Always check your mirrors frequently as snow can affect visibility. Signalling early is vital as it gives other drivers more time to react. Position your car in the clearest part of the road, usually the tracks cleared by other vehicles. Adjust your speed to suit the conditions, and always look well ahead for potential hazards.

2. Managing Driving Speed in Snow

Speed control is critical in snowy conditions. You must drive significantly slower than usual to react to unforeseen hazards. The key is to maintain a steady pace without abrupt changes in speed. Remember, it’s not just about moving forward, but also being able to stop safely.

3. Improving Grip

To improve grip on snowy roads, your driving instructor will consider using winter tyres which are designed to provide better traction. Also, they could slightly reduce tyre pressure slightly to increase the tyre’s contact area with the road, offering more grip. However, in your own vehicle, always refer to your vehicle’s manual or a professional for advice specific to your car.

4. Reducing the Chances of a Skid

To reduce skid risks, avoid sudden movements. Gentle manoeuvres are the key. If you start to skid, don’t panic. Ease off the accelerator and steer gently in the direction you want to go. Avoid braking suddenly as this can worsen the skid. Your driving instructor may take you to an area you can practice this safely to help prepare you for these situations when you pass your test

5. Using Higher Gears

Using a higher gear can help in reducing torque and thus maintain better control over the vehicle. It helps in minimizing wheel spin. Consider starting off in second gear if you are on compacted snow or icy roads, and once moving, try to use the highest gear possible without causing the engine to struggle.

6. Understanding Stopping Distances

Stopping distances can increase up to ten times in snow and ice compared to dry conditions. In wet conditions, stopping distances double. Therefore, in snow, you need to leave a much larger gap to the vehicle in front than usual. Anticipate stops and apply brakes gently well in advance.

Final Tips:

  • Preparation: Ensure your own car is well-maintained and equipped with essentials like de-icer, a scraper, and snow chains if necessary.
  • Visibility: Keep your lights and windscreen clear. Use your headlights in heavy snow to increase visibility.
  • Stay Informed: Check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out. If conditions are too severe, consider postponing your journey.

In conclusion, driving in the snow requires patience, preparation, and practice. Understanding and applying these principles will not only make your driving lesson more productive but also ensure your safety on the road. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with unpredictable weather conditions like snow. If conditions worsen to make it unsafe to teach in the instructors opinion, then don’t feel bad, it may not be quite safe enough for them to travel to your home and back. Happy driving!

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