The arrival of winter can bring a great deal of stress and anxiety for motorists. The conditions for driving are much worse in winter, which means that the chances of having an accident are higher, plus the cold weather can cause problems with automobiles, leading to more breakdowns. While sometimes it will be best to avoid driving completely, this is not always possible, so it is important that motorists know how to drive during winter.
Here are a few tips to help you continue to lead a normal life during this period and have confidence when you are behind the wheel.
Have an Emergency Kit
It is always smart to have an emergency kit in the car but particularly during winter. This should include:
- Jumper cables
- Triangle reflectors
- Food and drink
- First-aid kit
- Phone charger
Keep the Car in Good Condition
It is a good idea to get the car serviced when the weather turns so that it is in good condition for the months ahead. You will need at least 3mm of tread on the tyres, all of the lights should be working and kept clean, and the windscreen must be kept clean at all times (both inside and out). While you should avoid driving when the conditions are bad when possible, you also do not want your car sitting idle for extended periods, so make sure that it is taken out, if only to go around the block occasionally.
Check the Weather Before Driving
It is always sensible to check the weather along your route before heading out. The weather may be fine now, but it can quickly turn and create hazardous driving conditions, so you should always know what to expect and know when to delay a trip.
You need to be extra careful when driving in winter, particularly if it is slippy or if visibility is poor. You must accelerate and decelerate slowly, avoid sharp turns and increase your following distance to 5 or 6 seconds. You also need to use your headlights when visibility is poor and fog lights in dense fog. You may also find it helpful to reduce distractions, such as turning the radio off, putting your phone on silent and asking passengers to be quiet so that you can focus and hear what is around you.
Breakdown Recovery & Roadside Assistance
Having a phone number for a breakdown recovery and roadside assistance specialist is essential for winter driving. Companies like Motors Recovery have a fast response time so they can get to you quickly and get you off the side of the road. Cars are much more likely to break down during winter, so you need to be prepared in case this happens to you.
Driving in winter can be dangerous, and it is important that you know how to stay safe and how you can keep your car on the road. You should try to avoid driving when the conditions are particularly bad, but if you do have to drive, then these tips should help.