Winter Driving Tips

We want you to stay safe this winter, so have a read over some of our winter driving tips from Lookers Mercedes-Benz.

Vehicle Preparation

  • Give yourself extra time before the journey to prepare the car
  • Don't drive off with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows and demist the inside completely
  • Don't operate the wipers to clear thick snow or if they are frozen to the screen. Ensure they are turned off before turning the ignition on
  • Clear snow and ice from the cabin air intake, radiator grill and lights
  • Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted
  • Don't reduce tyre pressures to get more grip
  • Wear comfortable and dry footwear. Boots clogged with snow can slip on the pedals
  • Pack for the worst: hi-vis vest/jacket, a blanket, some food, a drink, spare screen wash, de-icer, ice scraper, shovel, phone charger, map, a first aid kit, a warning triangle, jump leads, torch, square of carpet/hessian sack etc.
  • Clear the car regularly to prevent a build-up of snow, ice and road salt
  • Ensure there is sufficient fuel in the tank

Driving

  • A build-up of snow in the tyre tread can continue to affect traction when changing from a snow-covered to a clear road
  • If the road has not been gritted be wary of wheel tracks as compressed snow is likely to be more icy than fresh snow
  • The brakes, steering and accelerator should be operated smoothly and slowly
  • Anticipate the road and other cars well ahead
  • Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer
  • Leave as much as 10 times the normally recommended gap between cars
  • Be mindful of micro-climates that might appear on the road, for example, areas where the sun hasn't got to and are still icy when the rest of the road has thawed
  • Winter tyres are recommended below temperatures of 7C
  • To improve the level of grip if snow socks/chains are not suitable a snow grip spray can be used
  • The automatic transmission can be manually shifted up, e.g by operating the right steering wheel gearshift paddle to reduce engine speed
  • Do not shift down for additional engine braking on a slippery road surface
  • Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room so you can maintain a constant speed
  • If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it, do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes
  • During ESP interventions you may feel feedback through the brake pedal along with a corresponding flashing ESP light in the instrument cluster
  • Automatic operation of the lights and wipers can be affected by poor visibility in the snow and should be activated manually as required
  • Radar and camera-based assistance systems can be affected by poor visibility in the snow and so extra caution should be observed
  • Do not use cruise control
  • In the event of an accident where the emergency services are required the SOS button can be operated. In cars equipped with a navigation system, the exact vehicle location will also be sent which will assist the emergency services to locate you

If you have any questions regarding winter driving please feel free to contact your local Lookers Mercedes-Benz service department who will be happy to assist.

 

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