Nash's driving tips

WTCC star on how to stay safe on the roads this winter

Last Updated: 15/01/13 10:23am

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With winter hitting the UK hard this week, WTCC star James Nash has shared his advice on how to stay safe on the roads in tricky conditions.

1) Check your car before you start driving - Firstly, make sure that your car has been cleared of all snow and ice. Use your car's air-con to prevent the inside of your vehicle steaming up. Also, are you using high-concentrate screenwash and is it filled up? Have you got a good amount of tread on your tyres? Are they filled to the correct tyre pressure? - use a tyre pressure gauge to check.

2) Get the right equipment - Snow Socks are a great, cost effective alternative to snow chains or winter tyres. I'd also highly recommend a winter kit. These are readily available and give you everything you need for winter motoring; from traction mats, folding shovels and salt sticks, to foil blankets, tyre pressure gauges and de-icer and scrapers to help keep windows clear of snow and ice.

3) Pick a higher gear than usual - This will prevent wheelspin and loss of control when accelerating. Higher gears use more torque which will help you get off the line with more grip.

4) No sudden movements - Stabbing at the brakes and turning sharply can cause the wheels to lose traction. Traction is key in wintery conditions. Take it easy and drive smoothly. Choose a nice steady line and keep your eyes on the road ahead.

5) Don't put your foot down - Keep your speed under control; driving slower will often get you there faster. If you accelerate quickly you can over/under steer and lose control.

6) Leave a gap - When driving in wintry conditions you need to allow plenty of space when braking. When you come to stop, remember to use your engine as well as your brakes to slow your vehicle down gradually, rather than risk locking your brakes and skidding.

7) If you lose control of your car - don't panic! - If you understeer, don't be rash. Ease off the accelerator and gently reduce steering lock to regain traction. If you oversteer, again, lift off the accelerator and gently steer into the skid.

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