by Nigel Hilton
Winter is upon us. It brings with it much magic and significant risk. It’s a time of festivities, magical lights, and decorations, spending time with family and friends and sharing gifts. But, it’s also a time of cold and damp. It’s a time of year where many of us spend more on our heating bills, we face trouble with our homes and cars, and we suffer from coughs and colds. One of the most significant risks of wintertime, however, is driving your car.
Whether you are a confident driver, or nervous on the roads, winter weather can catch you out. Even on a short journey to the local shops, or your usual commute to work, icy or wet roads can be dangerous, and many people have accidents and need an excellent Accident Attorney when they make their long trip home for the holidays. Staying safe on the roads, and learning how to handle winter driving can help to protect you, other people and your car. Here are some tips to help you.
Take it Slowly
Ice is a very tricky thing. Snow, you can see, wet roads are obvious, but ice isn’t always clear. You can easily hit a patch of ice on a foggy day without warning. If you are driving quickly when this happens, you are sure to lose control.
When driving in winter, even when the weather seems mild and safe, it’s always a good idea to drive more slowly than you would usually. Give yourself more time to break, take corners slowly, and generally drive at a slow and steady speed. You may have to leave home a little early, but at least you will be safe.
Check Your Tires
You should check your tires regularly anyway. Both their pressure and tread, and make changes when needed, especially before a long drive. But, in winter it’s more important than ever. If you are going on a long trip in freezing weather and there is even a risk of snow, switch to winter tires and either add chains or make sure you’ve got some with you.
Leave Extra Space
Even if you are driving slowly and you brake very carefully, slippery conditions can mean that it takes much longer than expected to bring your car to a complete stop. It can also mean that the car in front of you slides backward unexpectedly if they need to stop and start again. So, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front to give you both extra space and protection.
Check your Car Regularly
In the winter it’s crucial that you check your tires, brakes, and lights regularly as well as your fluid levels. Take it to a garage if you’ve got any doubts.
Pack for Emergencies
Breaking down in the winter is so much worse than the summer. You could find yourself stranded in the cold waiting for help. Make sure you’ve always got your phone and a car charger, blankets, water, and snacks, just in case. But also have an emergency toolkit, your car manual and the phone number of a breakdown service.