Safe Winter Driving Habits You Should Adopt

Safe winter driving habits you should adopt

Getting around on foot when there is ice on the ground is difficult enough, so when the temperature drops it can be even trickier getting around by car.  However, here are some driving habits you should adopt to stay safe on the roads this winter.

checklistChecklist – As exacting as it may sound, you should have a pre-journey checklist you run through before you head out on the road.

This includes:
·      Car insurance and breakdown cover documents.  Have the numbers and membership information to hand in case you are involved in a road traffic incident.
·      Antifreeze and windscreen washer fluid levels.  A 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze is recommended.
·      Check battery levels, headlights and windscreen wipers to make sure all are in order.
·      Make sure you have a charged mobile phone and cash or bankcards.

Warm up – if your car has been in an unheated garage or out on the street then, just like you, it will need time to warm up before it can perform to its optimum level.  If you are planning on making a mid to long journey, then warming the engine up for 10 minutes before you leave will ready the car for the road, as well as warming the inside of the car up for your comfort and helping increase vision by demisting the windscreen.

Comfort – Just like if you were heading out on foot, make sure to wear warm winter clothes and sensible shoes with a good grip when you go driving.  Not only will this reduce the need for heating – and in turn reduce the strain put on the battery – but it will mean you are protected in case the worst happens and you break down.

Drive Sensibly – Wet or icy winter roads should be treated like a different terrain to that of the dry summer highways.

This requires a new way of driving.

·      Slow down.  Speed is the main cause of accidents in winter so slow down and accept that it is going to take longer to reach your destination.
·      Avoid abrupt acceleration and breaking.  Your grip on the road is dramatically reduced, so sudden changes in speed can cause skidding and loss of control.  You can avoid aquaplaning by ensuring tire treads are adequate (at least 3mm) and by driving in the tires tracks left by the cars in front.
·      Keep your distance.  Stopping distances are 10 times longer in the snow, so give plenty of room to the car in front, even at seemingly low speeds.
·      Light up.  As the sun is nowhere to be seen for most of the day, it is wise to keep your lights on from mid-afternoon so that you have the best view of what lies ahead and so that others can see you.
·      Ask yourself if your journey is really necessary.  If there’s a blizzard outside and you can make your journey another time, then why take the risk?  It’s better to stay at home where it’s warm that head out unnecessarily.

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This information was provided to you by Allianz Your Cover.

Comments

  1. The only thing I hate about winter is icy roads…I don’t drive that much but I am always freaking out when I know one of my close ones is driving somewhere in such a weather. Great tips! Stay safe everyone!

  2. Jennifer Hedden says:

    We just had our first snow and while I love looking out at it from my warm home, I don’t like having to drive in it. Your checklist is a great idea. We always get our car ready for winter, but I don’t think about documentation, charged cell phone, and cash/bank cards. These are things I will have to start making sure I have. I don’t get out in the winter weather unless it is absolutely necessary. Thank you for the great post!

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