Driving in Winter: How to Stay Safe

Timothy Alcock November 27, 2013 0
Driving in Winter: How to Stay Safe

Winter driving can pose problems for even the most experienced drivers. With low visibility, reduced traction and the chance of getting stuck, even roads you are familiar with can quickly pose many hazards.

To reduce the risk of accidents or getting stuck altogether there are many steps you can take:

Avoid unnecessary journeys

The first and most simple way to avoid trouble on wintry roads is to avoid them altogether. Try to only travel when completely necessary.

However, if driving is your only option, it is important that your car is appropriately prepared.

Prepare your car

Before you set off on your journey, you should:

  • Make sure your tyres are properly inflated and have at least 3mm of tread. This will help to maximise the your carís traction on slippery surface. If you are going to be encountering snowy conditions on a regular basis, it may be worth investing in winter tyres. These will perform to a high standard in all weather conditions.
  • Ensure your screen wash has an anti-freeze additive will allow you to use it no matter what the temperature.
  • Check your battery regularly. In cold weather, its life will be dramatically reduced. The last thing you want is to become stranded due to it becoming flat. Make sure you carry jump leads just in case.
  • Make sure all ice and snow is removed from your windows. It is an offence to drive with an obscured windscreen, as well as being extremely dangerous.
  • Top up your fuel tank more regularly. Some mornings you may need to run your engine to clear your windows. Compensate for this by purchasing more fuel than usual.

When driving

Driving on an ungritted snowy surface is a case of striking the correct balance between remaining in control and losing momentum. If you go too fast, you run the risk of crashing. Too slow and you could become stuck.

Try to avoid revving your car too much. Stay in a lower gear than normal; this will help you maintain traction.

Braking suddenly may cause your car to skid. If this does happen, try to steer yourself out of trouble, only braking again if absolutely necessary.

Remember to increase the gap you leave between yourself and the car in front. Donít forget to put your fog lights on so you are more visible to other motorists.

Winter driving can be very dangerous if you take unneeded risks. By being prepared and taking your time, you can avoid accidents and arrive at your destination safely.

Does anyone have any additional tips for driving in winter weather? Leave a comment below and let us know.