Driving always requires your full attention, but winter conditions can throw up even more difficulties on the roads. In the worst conditions it is advisable to avoid the roads altogether, but obviously this is not always possible. In these cases, you should do everything you can to make sure that you stay safe on the roads. These are just a few tips to help driving in winter.
Long journeys always need a certain degree of preparation, but during the winter months even more preparation is needed. Bad weather may change the route you wish to take. Bear in mind that more people will be travelling during the festive period, and that poor weather will mean people have to drive slower so you’ll need to leave plenty of time for your journey.
Perform Regular Maintenance Checks
You should also make sure that your car is in a fit condition and that includes simple things like making sure your tires are inflated correctly, your lights are clear and working, and that there is anti-freeze in the radiator. Your battery is one of the most likely components of your car to fail, especially if you don’t frequently drive your car – if your battery is unreliable you may want to consider replacing it.
Stock Up On Supplies
There are some things you should take with you on any journey. Warm clothes are an absolute must in case of a break-down, and food and drink may also be useful. A fully charged phone (not to be used during driving of course) and jump leads can also be useful in an emergency. Items like ice scrapers and a can of de-icer are also essential. It is also advisable to keep a shovel in the boot, just in case you are stuck in heavy snowfall and need to dig your way out.
Allow For a Slimmer Margin Of Error
Your margin of error is greatly reduced in icy weather conditions. Stopping distances increase and you’ll often find that you have less control of your vehicle. Steering may be less responsive and you may well find it more difficult to control your speed. As such, you should ensure that there is ample distance between you and other vehicles, or any other obstructions, to account for this.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
If extreme weather conditions are forecasted, it might be a wiser option to cancel your journey. If the risk is too great, you should put your safety and the safety of your passengers first. Use your judgement and don’t take any unnecessary risks.
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Thanks to Will Poole for this post. Will writes on behalf of www.hgvinsurance.org.uk – a UK-based HGV insurance site.