The winter is fast approaching and we can feel that all too familiar chill in the air once again; that’s right, it’s time to bring out the winter wardrobe, turn your heating on and start dreaming of far off tropical islands and sunbathing. The majority of us aren’t particularly thrilled with the thought of a winter like last year’s for one enormous reason; the driving conditions.
Over the past few years motorists across the UK have absolutely dreaded setting out on even the shortest of journeys; the exceptionally cold temperatures combined with prolonged snow fall made for treacherous conditions on motorways and village roads alike. As we approach winter 2012 we’re all bracing ourselves for more dangerous roads conditions and we should all be preparing ourselves and most importantly, our cars for when the cold weather hits.
So what should you do be doing to keep yourself safe on the roads this winter?
Anyone who’s ever driven in the winter will know that it’s wise to start preparing your car to leave well before you actually need to set off. Why? Because your car will be encased in ice and you’ll have to rush around with warm water and anti-freeze to remove the ice from your windscreen.
Quick Tip: remember to check the roof of your car for snow. When you brake the snow can slide forwards and completely block your vision.
Those who do not anticipate the need to de-ice their cars before leaving and are faced with being late, often choose to drive regardless and find themselves driving with almost no visibility. This is when accidents happen and it can be avoided by just getting ready 10 minutes before leaving.
Keeping provisions in your car for both long and short journeys is a really good move and you’ll thank yourself for it when you’ve broken down or gotten stuck in a long traffic jam.
Before leaving on a journey you should:
– Ensure that you have more than enough fuel to reach your destination
– Have a fully charged mobile phone with you
– Have food with you
– Bring blankets with you
Chances are that you won’t break down in a remote area but if it does happen to you, you can be in a lot of trouble without these items.
We’ve all been in the same position when the roads are icy and dangerous yet there are still some motorists that are driving like it is midsummer. Just because you’re not going above the speed limit it does not mean that you’re driving safely in the ice and snow.
Here are some quick tips to driving safely in these conditions:
– The time it takes you to stop will be ten times longer
– Make small, gentle adjustments in your steering; do not make severe movements
– Pull away in second gear
– Use a higher gear when driving downhill to reduce skidding
– Try to avoid braking heavily
– If you do skid, do not brake; put your foot on the clutch and steer in the same direction as you’re skidding
– Have your tyres stopped making a noise? You might be driving on ice, take extra care
The roads in winter can be incredibly dangerous and if you don’t take the right precautions before setting off and drive sensibly, your risk of being involved in an accident is greatly increased. Wrap up warm and drive carefully!
This article was written by Jennifer Griffiths on behalf of Insure 4 A Day. Keep safe on the roads with winter and make sure you’re covered with short term car insurance.