The weather can change drastically in the winter months and you need to be prepared in order to keep yourself and other road users safe. Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness makes driving more hazardous, which in turn leads to an increase of risks on the roads. Due to this, you have to make sure that you adjust the way you drive to suit the conditions.
There are a number of top hints and tips you can follow to make you journey safer in winter and these are:
- If possible avoid driving in snow and other treacherous conditions
- Never leave when it’s snowing heavily or if it is forecast to snow, and avoid in other bad conditions like heavy rain, ice or fog.
- Consider public transport
- If you drive to work, try to make arrangements to work from home (particularly if you live in a rural area)
- Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained through an up-to-date MOT, regular services and regular checks by yourself
- Check your tyres to make sure they are in good condition and have a tread depth of at least 3mm
- Make sure there is anti-freeze in your radiator and windscreen washer bottle
- Keep an ice scraper and de-icer in your vehicle
- Pack a winter driving kit in case of an emergency. This might include; a torch, cloths, a blanket and warm clothes, food and drink, first-aid kit, spade, warning triangle and high-visibility vest
- Always have a well-charged phone in case of any emergencies
- Check weather forecast in advance and plan your journey
Careful, Cautious Driving
- Slow right down and only travel at speeds at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear
- Maintain a safe space between you and the vehicle in front, if you haven’t, increase it to as much as 10 times as you normally would then do so straight away
- Be extra vigilant for people and hazards
- Stay in control and avoid harsh breaking and accelerating, or sharp steering
- Take corners very slowly and steer gently and steadily to avoid skidding. Never brake if the vehicle skids, instead, ease off the accelerator and steer slightly into the direction of the skid until you gain control
- Use lights accordingly – fog lights in foggy conditions, dipped headlights when visibility is reduced etc.