Winter can be a dangerous time for driving due to hazardous weather conditions such as snow, ice and rain. Therefore, it’s vital for drivers to be prepared whatever the weather in order to remain safe on the road. Here at Motors.co.uk, we’ve come up with our top five tips for driving during winter to help make sure you have a safe journey.
1. Check your vehicle
Your car should be checked on a regular basis year round. However, during the winter it is even more important to do so. Checking that your tyres are at the correct pressure with adequate tread depth will help to maintain grip on the road, and ensuring lights are working correctly is vital in poor visibility. These are just some of the checks you can make on your vehicle which, if not done, could be a real disadvantage when driving in poor conditions, potentially leading to an accident.
2. Have an emergency kit to hand
An emergency kit is invaluable in the event of an accident during winter. You may think you don’t need one but if you break down or have an accident in a rural area then it could help you get back on the road or keep you comfortable and safe whilst you wait for assistance. Items for an emergency kit should include a torch, phone charger or power pack, warm blanket or high visibility jacket, de-icer, shovel, salt/grit, first aid kit, emergency rations and a tow rope. These items could be a real life saver if you became stranded so make sure you get your supplies packed in the boot, just in case.
3. Plan your journey
Planning ahead of a long journey is a must during the winter. Having an alternate route ready when travelling and regularly checking traffic updates will help to make sure you are taking the safest route possible and avoiding any hazardous roads or particularly bad weather. Allowing extra time for travel in case of poor conditions and letting someone know when you arrive at your destination will help to ensure you are safe and on time during your travels.
4. Watch the weather before you set off
Winter weather can cause major disruption to travel. Checking the weather regularly can help to minimise this disruption by enabling you to avoid the worst affected areas. Stick to main roads when driving through areas with poor conditions as these will be the most-well maintained and therefore safer. If the weather is particularly bad, look at alternative methods of transport such as train or bus to avoid a stressful journey.
5. Take care when out and about
Conditions such as snow, ice and rain can greatly affect the overall stopping distance of a car. Due to less friction, a car’s stopping distance is multiplied twice for rain and by 10 times for ice. Driving carefully by maintaining a reasonable stopping distance away from others cars and accelerating and breaking gently will minimise the effects of poor conditions. Limiting any distractions for the driver will help this too!