With the Winter snows fast approaching it’s incredibly important to stay safe on the road. As you know when that first ice covers the road vehicles can get out of control very quickly.
Not only do you need to stay in control of your own car but make sure those around you are driving safely as well. Here’s 5 top tips to staying safe on the roads this Winter.
1) Pre Start Check – Make sure you check over the vehicle before you begin driving. Here are some things to watch out for. Make sure both headlights are working, the tires are adequately inflated and that the windshield is clean.
You’ll also need to check the antifreeze and make sure your car has enough and also make sure your batteries have been tested so there’s no chance you’ll end up stranded on the road.
Take your sunglasses with you to prevent excess glare and bring along some emergency equipment just in case. This can include a blanket, first-aid kit, some warm clothes and a flashlight with batteries. Even if you don’t need them you may meet someone along the road who will.
2) Take it Easy – This sounds simple enough but once there is slushy ice on the roads they can be very slippery even at slow speeds. For this reason take your time accelerating and leave plenty of room for braking. The main cause of accidents in Wintry conditions is driving too fast.
3) Don’t Tailgate – Once again this is common sense but people underestimate how much longer it takes to stop or slow down on icy roads. Even with a light covering of snow on the road this can drastically increase stopping distance.
Keep well away of the bumper in front of you as they may stop suddenly, leaving you little time to react. Steering sharply away can put the car into a slide, and you’ll continue sliding straight ahead into the vehicle in front of you. Err on the side of caution and allow plenty of space for the vehicle ahead.
4) Don’t Use Cruise Control – If you’re used to using cruise control make sure you turn it off if the roads are likely to be slippery. There’s a very good reason for this. Cruise control is designed to keep the car going at a constant speed.
If the car starts to slide and the wheels start to spin the cruise control will increase the acceleration in order to keep the speed up. This will cause the wheels to spin more wildly and you’ll quickly lose control. Keep cruise control off and drive manually.
5) Stay off the Road – If the weather gets really bad it’s best to pull over and wait out the storm or stay home if you haven’t left yet until conditions improve. Whoever you are going to meet they will understand if it takes you a little longer to get there.
It’s better to arrive late and safe then to not arrive at all. If you do venture out into a wild snowstorm you risk getting caught in traffic in freezing temperatures. So stay indoors or off the road until it blows over and is safe to drive once more.
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