Winter Driving - Safety Tips
So far this winter has been very mild, but as we move into the New Year bad weather could be on its way. Bad weather conditions are a serious hazard for drivers and statistics show that the number of road traffic accidents peaks during the winter months.
Take some simple measures now to ensure you and your car are ready for adverse weather conditions.
At this time of year it is a good idea to be prepared and always carry some bottled water, some snacks, a rug, a torch, a shovel and even an old piece of carpet in the car just in case you get caught in a bad show storm.
Keep your car ready for all weather conditions by:
- Making sure your car tyres have a good tread and check the tyre pressure weekly -tyres lose pressure in cold conditions
- Keeping the windscreen wash washer bottle topped up.
- Keeping your car filled up with fuel, just in case you need to take a long detour or your journey is delayed due to slow-moving traffic.
- Checking your oil level, and make sure you have antifreeze in your coolant and screen wash.
- Keeping a can of de-icer and a scraper in the car.
- Regularly checking the car lights and wiper blades are in good working order.
Of course, if the weather is very severe, only drive if your journey is essential, but if you do have to drive, here are some safety tips to help reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
- Reduce your driving speed to avoid skidding
- Driving at a steady pace to help you manoeuvre smoothly.
- Keeping a safe distance from the car in front – stopping distances can increase fourfold during poor weather conditions.
- Stick to main roads that have been gritted wherever possible.
- Start off in second gear.
- Take corners slowly, avoiding sudden, quick movement.
- Avoid harsh braking, pump the brakes gently when you need to slow down.
- Be extra aware of cyclists and pedestrians as they may not stand out in poor or darker driving conditions.
- Keep you windscreens clear for maximum visibility
- Make sure you have your lights on even during daylight hours