Top Tips For Driving On Snow and Ice

On our social media pages we have been posting beautiful wintry scenes at Kingairloch and the surrounding area. However, with the Narnia-esk environment, there are of course added risks with the snow and ice on the roads. We hope that these top five recommendations will be useful for anyone heading to the Highlands in these wintry conditions.

Be prepared

Plan for the worst. Make sure you’ve got warm clothes, a rug, a torch, a snow shovel and maybe some emergency food. Also, make sure your phone is fully charged or you have the charging cable close at hand. Wear decent driving shoes – driving in snow boots or wellies (have these in the boot incase you get stuck) is a bad idea as it’s harder to feel the pedals under your feet. Consider investing in a set of winter tyres, especially when temperatures are regularly in single figures.

                 Consider changing to winter tyres

Be smooth

Avoid sudden applications of the throttle, brakes and steering. If you’re struggling for traction, don’t accelerate excessively – spinning the wheels will only make things worse. When driving on snow covered slopes, keep the speed slow at the top of the hill. It’s easier to maintain a steady speed than slow down on the descent. Leave longer braking distances to vehicles in front – apply the brake pedal gently. On the single track road, take your time!

See and be seen

When you start your car, give it plenty of time to warm up, and clear all the snow and ice from your windows and lights – not doing so could be seen as a traffic offence by the police. If there’s a lot of snow on the roof, this should be cleaned off. Ensure your screenwash isn’t frozen and your wipers aren’t stuck to your windows. When you’re driving, make sure your headlights are on and can be seen by other drivers.

What not to do when it snows!

Always plan ahead

Turn your radio on to hear the latest local (BBC Scotland)  traffic and weather reports. Conditions may not be too bad when you set off, but check ahead for your journey, too.

 

Don’t panic in a slide

If the front wheels start to push across the road, don’t crank on more lock. Ease off the throttle and straighten the steering for a moment to allow the tyres to regain grip. If the rear of the car starts to drift, steer into the slide – known as applying opposite lock. Always look where you want the car to go, because this will help you go in the right direction. Avoid standing on the brakes, as this will lock them and cause ABS-equipped cars to lose their effectiveness.

The beautiful single track road to Kingairloch

Should you get stuck in snow and abandon your car, try to move it as far off the road as possible so that you don’t block the way for drivers who are able to continue. If the car starts to slide back down an incline, crank the steering to full lock and apply the handbrake – this will lock the rear wheels, while the fronts will build a bank of snow like a plough, slowing your descent.

On the single track road you will see piles of grit, using your shovel spread this on the road so that the snow and ice has a chance to melt. If you really are stuck close to Kingairloch, give the estate a call and we will do our best to help.

We hope you found this post useful, don’t forget the journey is almost as important as the destination so make sure you enjoy the road trip!