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Tips for driving in the snow that covers Southampton and Hampshire
8:50am Thursday 2nd December 2010 in News
DRIVING tips from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service:
■ Drivers should pull away from standstill smoothly using the minimum of engine revs and change up early into as high a gear as possible to reduce the chance of wheel spin. Always make smooth, gentle inputs with your steering, accelerator and brakes.
■ Control your speed and maintain a safe distance from the car in front, remembering that stopping distances increase massively when it’s icy. If your tyres stop making a noise on the road surface, this could be a sign that you’re driving on ice.
■ If you do get stuck and have ESP stability control or traction control on your car, try turning them off. These systems can work against you, reducing the engine’s power when wheel spin or skidding is detected.
■ Don’t sit there spinning your wheels though, especially if you’re caught in deep snow.
The snow around the tyre will simply melt and refreeze, lessening your chances of escape.
■ You could try digging away at the snow around the wheels with a shovel or putting down salt to melt the snow. Sand and cat litter are also sometimes used to help tyres get a grip. In rear wheel drive cars, carrying extra ballast in the boot increases weight over the driven wheels and can improve traction.
■ Emergency crews have urged motorists to stock up on the following in case they find themselves stranded on a remote, snow-blanketed roadside:
● Spare mobile phone battery and
● Warm coat and gloves
● Food and water
● First-aid kit
● Specialist medication
● Shovel to dig your way out of snow
● Windscreen scraper and de-icer
● Tow rope
● Jump leads
● Fuel can
● Warning triangle
● Fire extinguisher
● Spare bulbs and fuses.