Driving is dangerous, no matter what the weather is like. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on the roads this year:
Check your car before you leave
It sounds simple but it is surprising how many people don’t check their car over from one week to the next.
Check your tyres regularly, ideally you should fit winter tyres from November through to March, they really do make a big difference to your road holding. For the rest of the year normal tyres are sufficient, but you should always be aware of the state your tyres are in.
These are the questions that you should be asking yourself:
- Are my tyres are correctly inflated to the correct pressures?
- Do my tyres have good tread?If this image looks like your tyres you could be big danger with the roads or the police!
If there’s been frost, snow or rain ensure all your windows, especially your windscreen, are completely clear before you start. Nobody enjoys shivering next to their car when they are trying to scrape ice off their windows, but it has to be done. Reducing your vision even slightly increases the likelihood of an accident.
Many of us are guilty of pouring boiling water over our frozen windscreens, you see many people hovering their kettle over their cars. This is something that you shouldn’t do, it can crack the glass or damage the rubber on your windscreen wipers.
Lastly ensure you have plenty of windscreen washer fluid. The roads are dirty at this time of year, salt and grit makes a mess and it’s important that your lights and windscreen are clear at all times.
Limited vision is probably the best way to get into an accident, make sure that your windows are steam free!
Keep a survival kit in your car
This might sound a little extreme but it really isn’t. A survival kit can literally be a life-saver if your car gets stuck somewhere. Make sure you have all of these essentials to help get you by:
- Ice scraper
- A working torch
- A spade
- A warm blanket
- A fully charged mobile phone
- Extra clothing
- Some food and water.
Don’t speed. We know it’s tempting, particularly on a quiet road but at this time of year you never know where there might be ice on the road. If you catch a piece of ice while speeding the outcome could be disastrous not only for you but others too so make sure you are sensible.
Keep a safe distance from the car in front
Again this is common sense but you’d be surprised how few people follow it. By adding an extra few car lengths between you and the car in front you greatly improve your chances of stopping should the car in front brake suddenly or skid on ice.
Check all your lights
It’s not just yourself you have to be aware of in winter, other drivers need to see you too. Visibility is often poor, even in daylight so it’s vital you can be seen. Consider driving with your lights on all the time in bad weather.Often people don’t know they’ve a light out until they go to a garage or are told by the police! It takes minimal amount of time and effort to check, so make sure you do it. For more information on checking your car lights click here.