Winter Driving Top Tips

We have some great tips for driving, to help you stay safe on the roads this winter

Tuesday 13th of December 2022 06:00 GMT

4 minute read

Are you conscious when it comes to winter driving? Learn these winter driving tips for a safer driving experience.

Winter Driving Tips

Living in the UK, I'm sure you have at least once experienced that daunting feeling during the winter months, and the realisation of incoming treacherous weather conditions hits you like a snowball to the face! Ouch!

Many of these concerns are fuelled by a lack of knowledge/experience. Fortunately, we have some great tips for driving, to help you stay safe on the roads this winter.

Consider your route

Using one's common sense would be an ideal place to start.

Plan your route by keeping yourself up to date with weather apps such as 'Met Office' etc. - which you can access via mobile phones/tablets & the internet.

Pairing this with regular traffic updates over the radio will ensure you avoid any unnecessary headaches whilst you commute to work.

Winter essentials

Have you planned your route? Great! Let's move on.

Like you would pack your bag for school, work, and even the gym - you can pack your car with practical items that could be a lifesaver, your very own winter survival kit!

The items we have in mind are as follows:

  • Blanket/Warm clothes
  • De Icer
  • Ice scraper
  • Mini shovel
  • Water/snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Fully charged phone

At a glance, some of these items may cause you to scratch your head; however, they all have their use. Take the shovel, for instance - a snow shovel can be used to dig for freedom if your vehicle becomes stuck.

Extra tip: Snow can be shovelled from behind wheels, ensuring a safer start.

Prep your vehicle

Now that you have your essentials packed, it's time to embark on the dreaded journey (hopefully, this article has set your mind at ease).

Prepping your vehicle is possibly the most critical task before the journey begins. If possible, you should ensure your vehicle has been serviced recently; if not, giving your vehicle a general health check would be a responsible thing to do.

The health check would include checking your tyre health or even replacing your current set with winter tyres, wiper blades, to help visibility when driving in winter and lastly, make sure your vehicles headlights, taillights & fog lights are all working as they should.

By law, you should ensure you remove any excessive amounts of snow and ice from the vehicle; if you fail to do this, you could endanger other road users, resulting in a large fine.

Visibility is key when driving in wintery conditions, and windscreen wash will help remove dirt and debris efficiently from the windscreen. Speaking of visibility, before you set off, you must allow time for your vehicle to de-ice & de-fog the windscreen, for obvious reasons.

Finally, It's never a bad idea to check if your insurance policy includes breakdown cover. If not you can purchase breakdown cover from a third party such as AA, Green flag & RAC etc

Driving safely on wintery roads

Before we dive into our driving tips, we must first state the obvious…

TAKE YOUR TIME!

Rushing around in slippery conditions won't do you or anyone else any favours. The highway code states that you should avoid travelling unless it is essential.

That said, here are a few tips you may find helpful:

  • Drive in higher gears - Set off in 2nd gear, be gentle with the clutch. Do this correctly, and you will eliminate any chances of wheel spin.
  • Do not exceed the speed limit - keep a steady speed while maintaining a safe distance from the car in front. Keep in mind that in these conditions, the stopping distance can be increased by up to 10x.
  • If you lose control of your vehicle and enter a skid, you should not panic - ease into the skid by gently turning into it. e.g. if the back end starts to veer left, you should turn left.
  • If your journey leads you up a hill, you should prepare for this the best you can. Try to leave as much room as possible between oncoming traffic & parked cars. In an ideal world, you should wait for a suitable gap where there isn't any vehicle oncoming, maintain a steady speed and avoid changing gears once the climb has begun.
  • You should never slam on the breaks - this will only increase the chances of losing control; instead - you should ease off the accelerator and gently press the brake sporadically whilst carefully steering to avoid collision
  • Stuck? Remember that shovel you packed? Great! Dig around your wheels, removing snow/debris to free your vehicle.

That's it for our winter driving advice, hopefully, reading this has eased your mind in preparation for the cold weather ahead.

Take care & drive safe!

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