Winter Driving In Snow Is More Hazardous Than Normal - Plan Ahead & Consider Some Practical Advice...​

With the 'Beast from the East' bearing down on the UK with snow and ice, you can almost guarantee that parts of Britain will grind to a halt over the next few days.

If you're determined to keep on the move through wintry conditions, it's vital that your car is ready to tackle the worst of driving conditions, minimising the weather's impact on day-to-day life and helping to keep you safe.

To help you cope with snow, consider these four features. Even just opting in to one of these will offer you an advantage, the more, the better, particularly if you are going to be driving on the continent during the winter too.

  • Invest in winter tyres - The key to safe motoring in icy, snowy conditions is traction and grip. Regular tyres have less grip in colder temperatures, whereas winter tyres are made to be softer and have a different tread pattern. The pay-off is that your car will obediently stick to the road when you’re moving, and having good traction allows you to actually get moving in the first place, with the engine’s power being applied to the road effectively. Winter tyres become effective when temperatures drop below 7 degrees C.
  • Consider a front-wheel drive car – These have engines that send power to the front wheels only and these tend to have more grip on slippery surfaces. The majority of cars are powered in this way. Combine a front-wheel drive car with winter tyres and they will cope with most icy conditions you'll encounter in this country.
  • Get an all rounder with Four-wheel-drive. These vehicles are more economical than ever and they’re now more competitively priced. Four-wheel-drive is a definite advantage when the roads get slippery, and if you’re buying an SUV for this reason, make sure it actually does have four-wheel drive, not just two-wheel-drive. It’ll give you more grip when accelerating, so you're less likely to sit there stuck as your wheels spin frantically.
  • Choose a vehicle with high ground clearance – The bigger the space between your car and the road, the less likely you are to get caught on piles of compacted snow or debris buried underneath the powder.

SUVs are among the most popular cars on sale and suit winter driving conditions perfectly, offering a high-set driving position, practicality and muscular looks of the more traditional 4x4s, but usually without the high purchase price or running costs, making them the ideal family car. The JCB Group offers 22 different SUV models, across eight of our brands, so why not take a look at the offers we have on currently in our SUV Event?

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Plan Ahead.

Websites like BBC Weather and the Met Office can give you an accurate forecast for the next few days, helping you to plan your journeys.

If you have to drive, here are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Clear the windows - Scrape any ice from the glass (or use a de-icer), demist the interior and don't drive off until you have good visibility all round and the fan is blowing out hot air to stop mist building up again. Also remove any snow from the roof of the car. Under braking, that snow could fall forward and obstruct your view of the road.
  • Give everyone space - Stopping distances are increased in bad weather. So make sure that you leave a larger gap than you would in optimal driving conditions.
  • Avoid sudden braking and acceleration - Keep your car as controlled as possible and give other drivers more time to react to changes in speed, reducing the likelihood of skidding.
  • Take warm clothes, blankets, food and drink - in case you get stuck in traffic, remember to keep warm and nourished. Allow extra time for your journey.
  • Consider snow socks or chains - these can get you from stationary to moving, then need to be removed for faster speeds. Useful in really snowy weather where traction is difficult to achieve. Available through our parts and accessories departments.
  • Keep a shovel, high vis jacket, gloves and wellingtons in your vehicle - with these freezing temperatures, it's no joke if you have to dig out your car or van in the snow. A torch is a good idea too!
  • Don't forget your mobile phone - but use it responsibly and not whilst driving. Make a note of your roadside recovery company's number.
  • Remember to keep your vehicle's fluids topped up - anti-freeze and a decent screenwash that won't freeze up. Book in for a winter check at your nearest JCB Group branch and we'll do it for you. Don't set out on a long journey without checking you have enough fuel.

Above all, take it steady - we want you to be safe on the roads this Winter!

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