When it comes to driving safely, I am all about it, in fact I’m such a safe driver I won’t actually drive in the snow as I’m so worried about my car and other drivers making bad decisions!
Yes, I’d much rather photograph my car in the snow than drive, so when LV= Car Insurance asked me to go on a Skid Pan Driving Course I couldn’t respond quick enough! I had taken part in one of the style course a while back but I feel it was so long ago I’d forgotten most of what I’d learnt and a refresher was more than due!
Whilst in Shropshire the chap and I headed over for a couples training class and we were both pleasenlty surprised with how well we got on with it! But before we share our tips, and about our day I best explain what Skid Pan driving is as I’m not sure all of you will know…
Basically a skid pan is an area of road that’s oiled up to make your car skid. It’s done to simulate various kinds of skids so you’re prepared should they ever happen on the road.
We’ve made a little video for you to watch here, and below are my tips on driving safely when there’s bad weather!
I’m guessing your car has ABS (Anti-Locking Brake System) brakes as most do now-a-days and that’s what I have on mine:
When you brake with ABS your car is likely to groan, and the pedal push back at you, so you need to apply steady and constant pressure – do not take your foot off the brake pedal until the vehicle has stopped and do not pump the brake. You should really try to get to know your breaks before an emergency happens; an empty car park, only if it’s safe is great! You should also try your brakes in all weather conditions. I’m fairly happy with how well I know my brakes in dry and wet weather but I’d have no idea about them in the snow!
You should allow for a longer stopping distance with ABS than for conventional brakes when driving on gravel, mud and snow.
If your car doesn’t have ABS, your best way to brake safely is via ‘threshold braking’, which is where you release the brakes slightly when you feel the wheels start to lock, so you release them again, but this can take a lot of practise! Do NOT pump your brakes as this won’t help anyone!
If your car begins to skid due to breaking so hard, you need to steer into the skid, so your tyres can regain traction. If you’re trying to avoid colliding with something or someone, don’t look at it/them, you’re more likely to hit them if you stare! Keep your vision up. Look to either side, then “squeeze” the brakes firmly, feeling for any signs of lock-up. If you begin to skid, quickly ease off the pedal slightly, and continue to look where you want to go.
I hope this helps you drive safer when the weather is so unpredictable here!