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TTA Tips for Driving in the Snow

Temperatures have dropped below freezing across the UK in the last week, with snow causing the usual delays and upheavals. Driving in such conditions requires skill and forethought.

Professional drivers, transporting goods across the country or even onto the continent, are trained how to manage their vehicles in such conditions, but the simple tips they learn are valuable for all drivers, no matter what vehicle they are travelling in.

Our expert instructors at TTA have come up with their top tips for driving in the cold and snow this Christmas.

1. Take Your Time

The most important advice given by our instructors is take your time. Do not to try and move in a hurry, even if you are late or under pressure. Accelerating and decelerating slowly is the best method for regaining traction in slippery conditions and avoiding skids. Take time to slow down for a red light or junction.

2. Go Easy on the Throttle

Everything takes longer on snow-covered or icy roads roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as you expect. Be gentle on the controls and give yourself time to maneuver. Jerky movements of the wheel, or leaden footed throttle control will result in a skid and loss of control.

3. Increase Following Distances

Count how many seconds you are behind the vehicle in front of you. On a normal, dry road, there should be three to four seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. On snow-covered roads, or roads where there is a likelihood of skidding, this should be increased to at least eight to ten seconds. The increased margin of safety will provide you with a longer distance to stop, should you need to apply the brakes in an emergency.

4. Know Your Brakes

All modern vehicles have antilock brakes, but you should not over rely on them coming to your rescue in a skid. The best way to stop is threshold braking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor, then use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. Don’t slam down and try to anticipate your braking maneuvers.

5. Keep Moving Where Possible

In heavy snow, don’t stop, if you can avoid it. It takes much more inertia to start moving from a stop, than it does to get moving while still rolling. Try to slow down enough to keep rolling when coming towards traffic lights, so that you can set off from a rolling start – as long as this doesn’t impede other drivers, or cause problems to vehicles around you.

6. Do Not Power up Hills

Trying to accelerate on snow-covered roads will just start your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill, then let that inertia carry you to the top, if possible. Once you crest the hill, reduce speed so that you can control your descent.

7. Try Not to Stop on a Hill

It may seem obvious, but many people lose their nerve halfway up an icy hill. But there is nothing worse than trying to get moving again on an icy incline. This is how most vehicles become stuck in snow and bad weather. Get some inertia going before the hill, and try to keep on at a steady speed.

8. If in doubt, don’t travel

If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you don’t have to go somewhere, why not watch the snow from the comfort of your couch?

From everyone at the TTA Team, have a Happy Christmas, and stay safe on the roads this winter, whatever the weather.


Celebrate TTA's Latest success stories...

Aaron Cochran


Well Done to Aaron Cochran for passing his CAT C with us on 21st February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Ryan Talbot


Well Done to Ryan Talbot for passing his B+E with us on 21st February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Christopher Murnaghan

Transport Manager CPC

Well Done to Christopher Murnaghan for passing his Transport Manager CPC with us in February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Andrew Meanley


Well Done to Andrew Meanley for passing his CAT C with us on 14th February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Paul Donoghue


Well Done to Paul Donoghue for passing his C+E with us on 14th February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

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