Icelanders teaching Brits to drive in snow

Photo/Unsplash/Laura Adai

Heavy snow has fallen across the UK and the local weather service has warned drivers of difficult road conditions.

Recently an article was published in the British newspaper The Sun , wherein experts at the car-rental company Lotus Car Rental in Iceland say that British drivers are simply not used to dealing with difficult road conditions and that they tend to make "terrible mistakes" when driving in snow.

The experts gave drivers in the UK some good advice when driving in snow. They say that sunglasses should be standard equipment for all cars, not just in summer but also in winter.

“Sunglasses help to reduce the glare of low winter sun on the snow. Sunglasses will drastically improve your visibility on the road, so be sure to wear them with you, even in the snowiest conditions,” they explain.

mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

Important to keep calm

They also recommend that people wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move around in, but thick-winter parkas and heavy winter boots can limit your ability to move around and cause difficulties in finding out what your feet are doing. Therefore, it is wise to take off your parka and change to lighter shoes before getting behind the wheel.

When it comes to driving, it is recommended to drive in a different gear when the car is stationary and then switch to a higher gear as soon as the car moves. It is not recommended to drive in the first gear in snow, as it can increase the risk of the car starting to spool and slide.

Drivers are also encouraged to stay calm when they are out on the road, even if the car is sliding. “The most important thing you can do is to keep the steering wheel tight and steer your car in the direction you are sliding,” they say, adding that if you try to pull the steering wheel or brake too hard, the car might become more uncontrollable. “If you are in serious danger of hitting something, you can brake, but do so as carefully as possible.”

Finally, they pointed out the importance of having a so-called “emergency package” in your car if things go wrong and your car breaks down. The emergency package should include things like a desk, window covers, flares, a medical box, warm clothes, blankets, food, drink, shovel, phone charger, starter cable, road map and a cable to pull the car.

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