Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How To Drive In The Snow

 Snow joke ... driving in icy conditions can be made easier with these tips


DRIVERS across most of icy Britain have been skidding and sliding to their destinations this week.

While the best vehicles to tackle the slippery stuff are 4x4s, rear-wheel-drive performance brands such as BMW and Porsche struggle in this kind of weather.
But even an off-roader can be lethal in the wrong hands.
As motoring expert Peter Rodger says: "A 4x4 driven badly becomes just a larger vehicle sliding out of control."
Peter, chief examiner at the Institute Of Advanced Motorists - which trains people to be better drivers - says that after 4x4s, the best cars for winter weather are front-wheel-drive, with rear-wheel-drive cars harder to control.
He says: "In front-wheel-drive cars the engine is over the axle and that weight gives the car more traction compared to a rear-wheel-drive car." Automatics are another nightmare in the snow. Go for manual - they give you more control and you can change gear to help slow down rather than resorting to sharp braking.
But the IAM say that fitting the correct tyres is also a key factor, whatever your vehicle.
Low-profile performance tyres make control harder. Instead, go for narrower tyres with a deeper-profile tread.
Special winter tyres are available. Their tread pattern is different from normal tyres, with wider grooves giving more grip in snow and ice. All-season tyres are a compromise that provide extra grip in winter but they still struggle in extreme weather.
Snow chains, which fasten round the tyre to provide grip, are expensive and difficult to fit. And snow socks are textile tyre covers offering extra grip but they cannot be driven above 30mph. They cost around £50 a pair.
But as Peter Rodger says, a crucial factor is how well people drive in snow and ice.
He offers some tips, above.



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