Winter Driving TipsOn By
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it becomes even more important to adjust how we drive to stay safe this winter. Below we’ve compiled some top tips on how to keep you and the people around you safe when driving in cold conditions.
Check your lights
Your headlights are integral for winter driving. Making sure that they work and are actually switched on before you set off will ensure that other motorists and pedestrians can see you clearly.
Check your tyres
Just like your lights, tyres are a critical part of winter driving. Making sure that they have an appropriate tread depth will reduce the likelihood of you skidding on icy roads.
The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, although it is worth considering getting winter tyres or tyres with a deeper tread.
Keep your distance
Wet and icy roads can dramatically increase stopping distances, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re driving.
Especially during dark evenings when visibility will be limited, you should keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you to give you as much time as possible to react to hazards.
Use a higher gear
Driving in a higher gear can give you more control on slippery roads. If it’s particularly icy, starting off in second gear can help you get more grip on the road.
Whether this is planning your journeys before setting off or taking your time whilst driving, planning ahead will help you to avoid making rushed decisions that could lead to accidents.
Planning ahead will also allow you to de-ice or de-mist your vehicle before setting off. You should make sure that you can see out of all of your windows before you drive away.
Prepare your vehicle
On top of de-icing/de-misting your vehicle before driving away, you should also make sure that it is fully prepared by checking that your headlights are clean, the battery is charged and all your fluids are topped up (anti-freeze, windscreen wash and oil).
There’s no need to go too fast when conditions are difficult. Reducing your speed, even by a fraction, can go a long way to keeping you and others safe.
Carry a breakdown kit
Cold conditions will make your vehicle more susceptible to breaking down, so making sure that you have all of the essentials on board will be really helpful.