Many different factors can impact our driving capabilities, and weather is not the least among them. Driving safely in winter is a must, but it often requires some adjustments from our usual habits. Here are some winter driving tips to guide you through the colder months safely.
- Drive rested
This is true the year round, but there’s no denying the fact that weather conditions can make being alert even more necessary than usual. If you’re fatigued, the extra couple of seconds it takes to react to a minor slip on an icy surface could turn a frightening moment into a catastrophe.
- Check your tyre pressure
As temperatures drop, check your tyre pressure and ensure that they’re properly inflated. Cooler temperatures can cause the air within your tyres to contract. You’ll not only improve your safety but you may even notice a saving on petrol costs.
- Keep your petrol tank at least half full
A frozen gas line can result in a car that won’t start, and in extreme cases, could require expensive repairs. Don’t let your petrol tank go below half full, however, and you’ll be able to avoid this simple pitfall.
- Stay with your vehicle in the event of a breakdown
If you do happen to breakdown in cold, snowy weather, stay with your vehicle. It may be tempting to try and walk to get help, but it’s more dangerous than staying put. Rescuers will be more likely to find you with your vehicle. Plus, in blizzard conditions, losing sight of your car is a real concern. You could even lose sight of the road if conditions are bad enough. Your vehicle provides you with shelter from the elements until help arrives.
- Check weather reports
Checking weather reports is especially key when it comes to long distance winter driving. Conditions at your starting point may be fine, however they may be very different along the journey or at your destination.
- Carry a survival kit
In the boot of your car, keep blankets, warm clothing, non-perishable food, and a gallon of water. A first aid kit is also a good idea, as is a flashlight. Hopefully, you won’t need these things—but if you do, they’re invaluable.
- Drive cautiously in bad conditions
Driving slowly and cautiously will help you preserve the time and space you need to react in case of an emergency.