As winter draws ever closer for many of us, it’s time to start thinking about what we can do to drive more safely in severe winter conditions. Severe weather can be scary for anyone who has to be on the road, and it can be downright dangerous too, especially if you haven’t prepared yourself to drive in such conditions, which is why knowing how to handle your car when winter hits is so vital.
Whether you’re driving a vehicle from a car rental company, a truck or your own family car, there are numerous things you can do to stay safe on the roads this winter. Here are some of Winter Driving Tips:
Have Your Vehicle Serviced
It’s always a good idea to have your vehicle thoroughly serviced ahead of the winter season. If your tires are too bare or your brakes aren’t working as optimally as they should, you could easily get into trouble during icy conditions, for example, which means a professional check is vital. If you’re renting your vehicle, ask to see its service history if possible. If you can’t-do that, then at least inspect it to the best of your ability before driving.
Clean and Check Your Lights
Because it can get very dark and foggy during the winter months, thoroughly cleaning your lights and checking that the bulbs are working, before you set out on a journey is advisable.
Carry De-Icer and a Scraper
Conditions can get very bad very quickly in the cooler months of the year, which is why it always pays to have a can of de-icer and an ice scraper in the car. You can use this to clear snow and ice so that you can safely drive your vehicle with a clear view.
Pack Some Safety Essentials
It’s also a smart move to pack some safety essentials, such as a torch, blanket, first aid kit and warm clothing when you head out. A breakdown kit and shove; would be good too. That way, if you do get into difficulty, you can take good care of yourself until help shows up, or, ideally, get yourself out of trouble and back on the road, fast.
Plan Your Journeys
When the weather turns wintry, if it is snowing or very icy out, then you should try to avoid making any unnecessary trips. If the journey is unavoidable, you should strive to plan it in advance, taking into account local weather forecasts and checking any hazardous road updates. Ideally, plan to take the shortest, safest route possible to minimize your chances of getting into difficulty.
Leave More Space
When you’re driving in icy, snowy or very rainy conditions, you should always leave a greater gap between you and the car in front, and you should also drive a little slower than usual. That way, if you do get into difficulty, it’s less likely to result in a collision with other cars.
Avoid Hard Braking
If the roads are icy, you should do what you can to avoid hard braking, which could send your car into a spin. This won’t always be possible, but try to break slowly and carefully whenever you can.
Dropping to a lower gear instead of braking can stop your car from skidding in tough conditions, and doing this when appropriate should be a big help.
If you keep your wits about you, your eyes on the road and implement the above where appropriate, you should have few problems on the road.