Tips on braking on snow and ice

Braking on snow and ice takes a lot longer than it does on a normal road in ordinary conditions. But you might be very surprised at how long it can take.

Infact tests have shown that it can take over 10 times the distance to stop on snowy and icy conditions than it does in ordinary road conditions! This is because there is so much less grip between the wheels and the road, and therefore it takes a much greater distance to reduce your speed when travelling over it in those conditions.

This is why pile ups are so common in these sort of conditions, because cars following are not able to brake in time with the stopping distances being increased so much so they all go in the back of each other.

When you do brake, you must also be gentle - because anything else would lead to the wheels locking. A good technique is to start braking earlier than you would normally and make it gentle, then change down gear into a lower gear sooner than you normally would.

Note that if conditions are bad of course the first thing to consider is whether a journey is absolutely essential; if not then turn back and in certain conditions even if you think the journey is essential it is best not to try and make it at all.

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