The winter months can be some of the toughest for drivers. Along with the snow, winter brings its own set of distractions for drivers. Road closures, low visibility, and slippery surfaces are just some of the challenges of winter driving. As we head into the holiday season, many of us will be driving to visit family and friends. With that said, we’ve put together some winter driving tips to ensure you arrive at your destination safe and sound!
Give your car a checkup
Before any journey, it’s a good idea to have a professional give your car a pre-winter checkup. Is it time for an oil change or regular service/maintenance? Check your owners’ manual to see what the maintenance schedule is and follow your manufacturer’s recommendations.
You’ll want to be sure your windshield wipers are in working order and that your tyres are safe for winter driving, checking not only the condition of your tyre tread but the air pressure too.
Whether you’re driving through snow or not, make sure your car is stocked up with supplies to help with a breakdown. Supplies include; jump leads, a wheel jack (or other supplies for changing a flat tyre), tyre sealant (which can mean you don’t have to replace that flat on the side of the road), a torch and a first aid kit. For driving on ice and snow, you’ll also want a scraper and blankets in case you get stranded. Remember: these are just the basics!
Watch the weather updates
Be sure to check the weather as your trip approaches. Drive slowly in snow, ice, and rain. You may be in a hurry to get to your destination, but going too quickly in poor weather conditions is likely to cause an accident. Accelerate and decelerate slowly and be sure to leave plenty of distance between you and the cars around you because it will take much longer to stop in poor conditions.
Be careful on bridges and overpasses
These will be the first parts of the road to freeze over in cold weather, so be wary of ice and black ice.
Avoid cruise control
We know cruise control is convenient, especially on long trips, but in ice and snow, you need to have as much control as possible.
Keep your fuel tank half full at all times.
You won’t want to run out of fuel in the cold weather, so be sure to fill up well before you need to!
Don’t drive while tired or when sleep deprived
Driving while tired or when exceptionally sleep deprived is dangerous in any situation, but even worse in snow or ice. If you are tired or have not had adequate sleep, take a break at a petrol station, switch driver to somebody who has rested or find a hotel and get plenty of sleep!
Travelling long distances in winter is probably not the best to test the longevity of your mobile device’s battery life. Before you even leave, make sure you’ve brought along a car charger and USB ports so you can easily charge your phone or tablet. That way, should you ever need to make an emergency roadside call, map out directions if you get lost or require access real-time road or weather conditions you’re guaranteed the convenience of a fully charged battery!