Drive safe this winter
If you drive, there’s no doubt that you need to take extra care in the winter months as it continuously proves to be the most dangerous time for British drivers. According to research, the most common causes of accidents in the colder months is ice on the road (44 percent), poor visibility (31 percent) and lack of tyre grip (14 percent) which causes the car to skid. So how can you make sure you are safe this winter?
Make sure your vehicle is winter ready
It’s easy to think that because your vehicle has been running fine up until now, nothing needs doing before winter sets in. However, something as small as low tyre pressure can have a huge impact on your ability to stop in an emergency. So, always be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter by carrying out these simple checks:
• Tyre pressure and depth (refer to your vehicle manual)
• Wipers (make sure that they effectively clear the screen)
• Wiper fluids (top up with 50% water and 50% anti-freeze screen wash)
• Lights (check that all the bulbs in your headlights are working and replace any that are dim)
• Use good quality coolant or antifreeze in your car’s cooling system
• Keep de-icer, ice scrapers and spare cloths, as well as hi-vis, warm clothing and a compact shovel in your vehicle.
Before every drive
• Allow time to demist your windscreen and clear all vehicle windows and headlights to ensure you have full visibility before setting off
• Plan your route before you start out and make people aware where you are going and timing of your journey
• Check traffic information before setting out
• Plan regular extra breaks
• If going on a long journey take warm drinks and food
• Drive and brake to suit the weather conditions
• Allow twice the normal stopping distance between you and other road users.
Be aware of the sun’s glare
The low winter sun can dazzle even the most confident and experienced drivers. In fact, the AA recommends keeping a pair of sunglasses in the glove compartment in case of sun or snow glare. Glare can easily impair your vision and cause you to miss signs and lights, or even pedestrians crossing the road.
To help avoid the dangers of low winter sun:
• Reduce your speed or stop all together
• Wear sunglasses in bright sunlight.
Source: 1st Central Insurers