You may not want to put much thought into your winter driving habits. After all, you’re just going to be in the car for a little bit, and you’ll probably get there safe and sound. Driving in winter can be a dangerous business, though. One small mistake can lead to lifelong regret. To ensure you stay safe this season, check out our tips for a safe winter drive below.
Tip 1 -- Keep your gas tank at least three-quarters full
The first tip for a safe winter drive is a simple one. To keep your gas tank full all the time, which means you’re more likely to avoid running out of gas on the road in an emergency. Make sure you know where the nearest gas station is and how long it will take you to get there in case your car runs out of gas.
Tip 2 -- Slow down and give yourself space
If you slow down on slippery roads, you reduce the risk of losing control and sliding off the road. Also, try not to drive too quickly when it’s raining or snowing. It can help when you’re driving in winter weather conditions to be sure you give yourself plenty of room between your car and other vehicles on the road. This will allow for more room if you need to brake suddenly. You may want to consider leaving a little earlier to allow yourself more time to arrive at your destination. If you have to wait at a junction when it’s snowing and icy outside, give other road users more room by not stopping too close to the junction.
Tip 3 -- Watch for people walking on the edge of the road
When you’re driving in winter weather conditions, make sure you’re on the lookout for pedestrians near the road. Try to avoid driving through puddles – no one likes being splashed by passing vehicles.
Tip 4 – Check your tires and lights before you start any journey
It’s all too easy to simply jump in your car and go. However, your safety and the safety of other road users depend on your car being in tip-top condition. Therefore, before you set off, especially for long-distance journeys, make to give your car a once over. If your tires need pumping up, you can deal with this before you set off rather than risk experiencing a puncture on the side of the road.
Tip 5 -- Have appropriate safety equipment in the event of a breakdown
All cars registered since 2006 must carry at least one reflective warning triangle. However, it makes sense for you to have emergency lighting to ensure you and your vehicle are visible in the worst weather conditions. You can find warning lights from online businesses like Response Vehicle Lighting, as these can indicate to other road users that there is an issue.
Tip 6 – Check weather conditions before your journey
If you know how the weather is likely to be, you can properly prepare for the journey ahead. In some instances, you may decide that you can go another day as the journey isn’t always an absolute necessity.
When driving conditions are poor, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of an accident by preparing well before you head out. One final piece of advice, please drive courteously. Remember, all road users are just trying to get to the end of their journey safely.