Winter driving presents distinct challenges compared to other seasons. Unfavourable weather and extended periods of darkness, particularly at the end of October when the clocks are set back, elevate the risks on the road. Recent winters have shown that conditions can sometimes become severe, with prolonged spells of heavy snowfall and flooding.
The shift of weather patterns, diminished daylight, and the heightened likelihood of fatigue, particularly during the pre- and post-work commutes, unfortunately tends to result in an uptick in accidents. Implementing even minor adjustments in our driving habits can significantly contribute to the safety of our roads. In this article, we’ve compiled a comprehensive set of safety tips and expert advice to help you navigate bad weather driving with confidence.
Ready for the cold? Ensure your vehicle is too!
As winter approaches and temperatures drop, it’s crucial to prepare your vehicle for the challenges of severe weather conditions. Inside your vehicle is where you’re most vulnerable during extreme weather, so exercising caution while driving in adverse conditions is paramount. Beyond that, maintaining your car in optimal condition becomes imperative.
As the chilly season draws near, take proactive steps to ensure your vehicle is well-prepared. This includes not only routine maintenance but also having reliable breakdown cover in place. This additional layer of protection ensures that you won’t be left stranded in the cold, adding peace of mind to your winter travels. With 12,000 customers placing their trust in us monthly, they can rest assured knowing our breakdown cover has them protected regardless of the weather conditions. At Autoaid, we take pride in being there for you 24/7, 365 days a year, spanning across the entire nation. Possessing a fleet of over 5,000 recovery vehicles and a team of 1,200 operators, we have a track record of getting you back on the road from the roadside 80% of the time! Don’t let winter catch you off guard; instead, let your prepared vehicle and dependable breakdown cover be your allies in facing the cold.
Whether you’re a seasoned driver or new to the road, navigating through fog, snow, rain, standing water, moving floods, or scorching heat presents unique challenges. Your vehicle’s readiness can make all the difference in ensuring your safety and comfort during these conditions
Autumn and winter driving safety tips
There are multiple ways to reduce the danger of driving in poor weather conditions; the most evident one is to refrain from driving unless it is absolutely essential. However, if it becomes imperative and you have no choice but to drive, here are some autumn and winter driving tips to safeguard your well-being.
- Check tyre pressures, the oil and coolant regularly, the least desirable situation is breaking down on a dark, miserable morning/night.
- Check your windscreen washer bottle is full. During autumn, roads tend to become damp and muddy, and splashes from other vehicles can contribute to the mess.
- The stress of time constraints can adversely impact your driving. The more hurried you are, the likelier you are to prioritise speed over safety in reaching your destination. Ease the situation by departing a bit earlier in the mornings and preparing in advance during the evenings.
- Maintain visibility. Ensure your windshield, side windows and mirrors are clean before you depart and at every stop. If your visibility is limited, you cannot drive safely.
- Reduce speed, slow down to a safe and manageable speed. This provides more time to react to unexpected situations. Icy conditions can lead to stopping distances that are ten times longer. Practicing gentle manoeuvres and maintaining slow speeds are crucial for driving in ice and snow.
- Increase following distance, leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This allows more stopping distance in case of emergencies.
- Avoid sudden movements, smooth and gradual movements are key. Avoid abrupt acceleration, braking, and steering.
Many of us have limited experience driving in severe conditions such as heavy snow, so it’s essential to contemplate how it affects our driving. Instead of driving as usual, especially in extremely adverse conditions, it’s advisable to refrain from driving altogether unless it’s absolutely necessary and driving remains the sole option.
Driving in winter can prove to be more demanding than in any other season due to the potential for rapid shifts in weather conditions. Regardless of the weather scenario, always bear in mind this fundamental principle: never go quicker than what’s safe for the current state of the road.