The different types of weather conditions during the winter make driving very unpredictable. Follow these six top tips influenced by an article I read from LeaseDrive, to ensure you stay safe while driving this winter.
1. Twilight Driving
Twilight is one of the most difficult times of day to drive. One minute you can see clearly as the sky begins to darken and you are the only car on the road, but within seconds your eyes are battling to see past the oncoming dazzling headlights of fellow motorists. Our eyes constantly have to change to keep up with the alteration of the fading daylight.
Did you know?
Ninety percent of a driver’s ability to react depends on their vision. As our vision is severely limited during nightfall, a number of factors including peripheral vision and colour recognition are compromised. As a result of this, sadly traffic death rates are three times higher than during the day.
What’s more, older drivers have even greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old. So be sure to take extra care when driving after sundown.
2. In Poor Weather Conditions Is Your Journey Absolutely Necessary?
Do you really need to go to the supermarket and get your groceries? Or collect something from a friend? Could these journeys not wait until the next day when the weather and driving conditions have improved?
However if you really must travel, consider alternative transport, keep to main roads and ideally travel with a companion.
3. Plan Your Journey
It is important that you know where you are going and how to reach your destination if your first route is compromised. By knowing what to expect along the way, you can avoid coming into any preventable difficulties due to a sharp bend on an icy road you didn’t know was there or a hidden signpost at a junction. Be sure to tell someone which route you are taking and what your expected time of arrival is before you set off so they know what time you should arrive.
4. Common Sense
Before you drive anywhere make sure your windows and mirrors are clear and de-misted. Snow on the roof of your car could slip down onto your windscreen to ensure it is removed before you set off. If the weather is bad your vision will be affected which will not be helped if you can’t see out of your windscreen clearly.
It might also be a good idea to allow extra time for your journey as the roads could be bad meaning traffic speeds will be reduced. Also ensure you have a full tank of fuel in case you have to take a detour which extends the time of your journey.
5. Breakdown cover
Making sure you have the sufficient breakdown cover is highly important in the winter as you are more likely to breakdown. If you already have breakdown cover don’t forget to check that your membership card in is the car just in case. If you haven’t got the appropriate breakdown cover make sure you join a recover and breakdown service and apply for roadside breakdown cover, don’t leave it until it is too late!
6. Winter Checklist
Often we don’t realise how important it is to have a winter breakdown survival kit in our cars until it is too late and we are shivering on the side of the road while we wait for help. Things to include are: a torch, a fully charged mobile phone, shovel, blankets, ice scraper, de-icer, a water bottle and snacks.