With winter weather conditions just around the corner, it’s important that motorists adapt their driving styles. Here’s ten ways you can keep yourself safe on the roads…
Give Other Road-Users Space
Winter means rain, snow and ice; all of which can significantly increase stopping times. Throw in poor visibility, it’s clear that you need as much time to react to changing road conditions as possible. Make sure to keep a good distance away from other road-users.
Leave Yourself Plenty of Time
Road collisions are more frequent over the winter months, due to challenging driving conditions. Extreme weather conditions can also damage roads, making emergency repairs necessary. As a consequence, roads may be closed or blocked more frequently. Plan your journeys and give yourself plenty of time if you’ve got a time-sensitive engagement.
Pack a Winter Kit
Should the worst happen, and you become stranded in your vehicle, you’ll benefit from having a few things packed in your vehicle. A shovel and torch will be indispensable should you find yourself stuck or lost. A warm blanket, some water and food wouldn’t go amiss, either. If possible, pack some footwear with additional grip and a first aid kit, too.
Inspect Your Tyres
You should be inspecting your tyres at regular intervals throughout the year. You’ll need at least 1.6mm’s worth of tread depth (anything below is illegal) and the right air pressures. You should also check for any sign of damage or bulging. It’s crucial that your tyres are up to the job during the winter, as slippery road conditions mean you’ll need all of the grip you can get.
Don’t Neglect Your Battery
Freezing temperatures place a great deal of strain on car batteries. Indeed, breakdown companies receive a substantial amount of callouts during the colder months due to battery failures. Keep an eye on yours and, if necessary, replace it with a new one.
Check Your Lights
Dark mornings and darker evenings make good visibility crucial in the winter. Make sure that all of your vehicle’s lights are working, that they’re sufficiently bright and are free of debris or damage. It’s a good time of year to replace a few bulbs.
Adapt Your Driving Style
You can’t drive as you normally do in the colder months of the year, you need to adapt your driving style. Depending on the conditions, you’ll need to leave more space between yourself and other road-users and travel at slower speeds. You’ll also want to approach turns and manoeuvres more cautiously.
Consider Winter Options
Some drivers invest in winter-specific automotive gear. This might include winter tyres, specifically designed to provide more grip in snowy or icy conditions. Others opt for tyre socks and chains – both of which are useful for getting out of frozen over driveways. Consider your options.
Watch for Black Ice
Black ice is notoriously lethal; precisely because it’s so hard to see. It’s extremely thin and slippery ice, which blends in with the colour of road surfaces. Driving slowly will make it easier to spot. Your headlights, or sunlight, might reflect off of it. Keep your eyes open and travel at a responsible speed.
High Gears are Useful
Lower gears, as a general rule, mean more control over your vehicle. If you’re struggling to gain traction, or have gotten stuck, try using a lower gear (second usually works) to get moving again.
Drivers Who Forgo Seat Belts Could Receive Penalty Points – https://autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/drivers-who-forgo-seat-belts-could-receive-penalty-points/
The Best Car Gadgets To Keep You Warm This Winter – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-tips-advice/the-best-car-gadgets-to-keep-you-warm-this-winter/