Driving in winter is always a challenge, with rain, wind, icy patches and lower temperatures. It can be difficult to avoid accidents when driving in these conditions – which is why it’s important to follow these ten tips if you want to stay safe on the roads this winter!
It goes without saying that it is a good idea to drive slowly and carefully in all weathers and all seasons, but driving at high speeds is even more dangerous during winter conditions. Always reduce your speed by around 10% than you would usually travel to allow for any cars that might brake suddenly in front of you, even if it means you’re driving under the speed limit.
Avoid Blind Spots
When your car’s windows are covered in snow or ice, make sure to keep an eye out for anyone trying to merge onto the road from a lane that is on the other side of yours. You need to be able to see what is happening behind and around your vehicle so you can safely change lanes when needed. It may also help at times during winter weather conditions when visibility is limited if you use headlights dimmer than usual so that they shine only as far ahead of the car as possible. This will give drivers who might be coming up quickly from behind plenty of advance warning and won’t blind them with too much glare either!
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Always lookout for icy patches and avoid braking suddenly. If your car starts sliding, you should try to maintain a straight line of travel as much as possible by steering in the direction that will reduce the chance of hitting something or someone – this is called “steer straight towards the skid”. Lastly, if there’s no choice but to brake hard, always apply pressure gradually rather than abruptly. That way, you’ll have time before coming into contact with whatever might be ahead!
Avoid Distractions While Driving
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s safe to check your phone, answer a text message or take a selfie while you’re driving. It takes about three seconds for the human eye to refocus on an object after looking away from it – and at 90 km/h, this is equivalent to more than 170 metres! Not only could you end up in trouble with the police, but distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in crashes.
Know Your Car’s Capabilities and Be Prepared
Before heading out on a winter weather drive, check your car manual to know the maximum speed it can achieve in different conditions. When driving in icy or snowy roads, you should only go as fast as the vehicle can handle – if not slower than that. Also, make sure you are prepared with emergency items like jumper cables and blankets, just in case!
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