Friday, 13 March 2015

Driving In Winter Conditions: What You Need To Know

I'm a bit unsure of driving when the weather is bad, especially if it's snowing. After having a bad experience a few years ago, it really put me off and if I can avoid it, I don't use the car at all. 

The weather doesn't look set to improve any time soon (even though we are in Spring apparently!) so here is a guest post with some excellent safety tips and advice for driving in Winter conditions. 

Winter is a happy time for most people. It’s usually the time when people go out of their way to buy presents and visit their loved ones for the holidays. Family reunions also happen left and right during the winter holidays. While this is all great and dandy, winter is also the time of the year when driving conditions are the most hazardous. You can’t go to gran’s house and enjoy her pot roast during the holidays without driving through the snow-laden roads in your town or city.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to check your car.

Driving on a fresh layer of snow sounds easy enough. However, even if you’re a driver who’s extremely gifted at driving in dangerous or less than ideal conditions and even if you passed your driver theory test, it won’t mean a lot if your car isn't up to it. A whole lot of things could happen to your car during the cold winter months. You don’t want to get stranded in the cold on the way to a party just because you missed checking if your car was up to making the trip, do you?
It’s important to keep your car in check before driving in the snow. Check your ignition, brakes, antifreeze, wiper blades, lights—everything. Little details go a long way in preventing accidents in bad weather.

Safety first

Keep yourself, the people you care about, and others on the road safe by following these winter driving tips.

  • Get some rest. Statistics have shown that fatigued drivers get into accidents way more often than drivers who get enough rest before they get behind the wheel.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. Aside from a lowered chance of getting stranded because you have more petrol in your tank, it also helps keep your fuel lines from freezing over.
  • Avoid using your handbrake or parking brake in cold weather. Sudden stops will cause your car to skid. You do not want to be skidding on an icy road. Keep in mind that slowing down and stopping is harder on an icy road.
  •  Drive slowly. Obviously, driving slower in less than ideal conditions is a no-brainer. However, it is much more important to keep this in mind when driving during the winter because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, takes longer when driving in the snow.

Ice King of the Road

Despite statistics showing that the winter months aren't exactly the most dangerous time of the year to drive (surprisingly, that time of the year is August), it is no reason at all to keep your guard down when you’re driving during the icy months. A possible reason why not too many accidents happen during the winter months is because everybody is too busy being careful behind the wheel to cause any accidents.

There are many factors that make driving during the winter very dangerous. Driving in low visibility, having to pass roads that are covered with ice and snow, slippery tires—all of these present very real dangers when driving during the winter months. Being drivers, it’s our responsibility to take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and others safe on the road. Think you have what it takes to drive in harsh winter conditions? 

Guest post

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