When snow falls or cold temperatures create ice on the roads it is important to know how to adjust your driving. A few simple steps could make the difference between getting home safely and not getting home at all.
What can you do to drive more safely in winter?
Here are some steps you can take to stay safe on the roads this winter:
- Understand your car’s safety features: Many modern cars have technology such as traction control or anti-lock braking to help you stay safe. Learn how they work. Some may require you to turn them on.
- Allow extra braking distance: When the road surface is slippery due to rain, snow or ice it takes longer to bring your car to a safe stop. Allow extra time to avoid the chance of rear-ending another car to stop at the crossing.
- Keep your windows clear: Being able to see out the car is essential to driving safely. Take time to defrost your car fully where in front before setting off. Ensure your blower vents are clean, otherwise they may be unable to keep your windscreen clear.
- Learn how to deal with skidding: The chance of a skid increases in winter. It can feel frightening the first time. Consider taking a lesson with an instructor to teach you how to control a skid safely. The correct reaction is the opposite to what you might assume.
- Slow down in reduced visibility: Adjust your speed to the conditions and slow down when it becomes harder to see the road ahead. Otherwise, you may miss hazards such as a car pulling out the side street, or a pedestrian stepping into the road.
Do not expect all drivers to be driving appropriately for the winter conditions. By improving your driving, you can increase the chance of evading a car crash when another driver loses control.