FROSTY mornings can leave roads in a hazardous condition, and such dangers may be misjudged as surfaces and grip can vary greatly. Always set out to prepare the vehicle so it’s free of all ice and snow, and ensure all the lights and windows are clear and demisted.
Black ice is hard to spot on the road, and that’s why it’s often referred to as “invisible ice”. In these conditions, even 10mph may be unsafe, so judge speed accordingly. When driving at these times always take extra care where the road is shaded by trees, bridges or buildings, as these may be the last areas to thaw. And don’t forget the low winter sun can often blind you, so make early use of your visor.
Be careful on hills, too. Descending an icy gradient at speed can be alarming, and be aware that ABS doesn’t function effectively on slippery surfaces. Correct use of speed is absolutely key to staying safe in such hostile weather conditions. Stopping distances can significantly increase, too, so enhance your separation/ following distances at least tenfold.
In slippery conditions you must reduce speed to suit the road surface, traffic and weather, and be ultra-smooth with the car’s controls. Advanced observation and planning are also key to safety.