Thursday, 20 December 2018

Steer Clear Of Danger This Winter: Top Tips For Drivers

It’s going dark in the middle of the afternoon, and more commonly than not, mornings involve de-icing the car and cranking the heating up. Winter is officially here, and for drivers, that often means being aware of a whole host of hazards. If you’re gearing up for a road trip, you commute to work, or you do the school run in the car every day, it’s wise to be aware of the risk of driving in cold climes. Here are some top tips to help you steer clear of danger.


Watch your speed
We all know that speeding can kill, but in wintry conditions, driving fast can be particularly treacherous. Exceeding the speed limit can increase the risk of accidents, but it can also lead to trouble with the law. Restrictions are in place to protect you and those around you, so take notice of them, and be prepared to adjust your speed in line with driving conditions. The speed limit may be 70 mph on the motorway, but if it’s snowing, the roads are slippery, and visibility is poor, it’s not safe to drive at this speed. Slow down, make sure you have your lights on, and keep well back from the vehicle in front of you.

Check your car
Before you make any journey, it’s advisable to give your car the once-over. Have a look at the tyres, check the tread, and top up your water and oil levels on a regular basis. Make sure you have a scraper with you just in case it’s frosty, and pack warm clothing and blankets. If you do break down, at least you can keep warm while you wait for assistance. If your car is due a service, don’t hang around and wait for something to go wrong before you call the garage. Routine services can help to lower the risk of complex problems, which can be expensive to fix.

Don’t drink and drive
Figures from the Department of Transport suggest that over 9,000 were injured or killed in accidents involving a driver who was over the legal limit in 2016. If you want to have a drink, don’t get behind the wheel. Even if you feel fine, and you think you could operate a car with no trouble at all, it’s not safe to drive if you have consumed alcohol. There’s a degree of uncertainty when it comes to the legal limit, as everyone processes and tolerates alcohol in a different way, and even a single drink could impair your ability to drive safely. Arrange a lift with a friend, take the bus or train home, or call a cab. If you’ve been drinking, and you have an accident, you’ll face legal charges, and you may also get a call from a personal injury solicitor, as the other driver will have the right to make a claim against you. Stick to soft drinks or organise another way to get home in advance.


Listen out for warnings
In the UK, we don’t often bear the brunt of extreme weather, but if storms are forecast, or snow is set to fall, listen out for warnings and take advice from the police force and highways agencies on board. If the weather forecast is terrible, and the roads are set to be dangerous, consider postponing your journey. If you don’t need to travel, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Keep your eyes on the road
We live in an age where multi-tasking is the norm. You only have to watch people walking down the pavement to see that using a phone, listening to music and talking at the same time is par for the course. When you’re driving, it’s dangerous to try and do too many things at once. You might think that it’s perfectly safe to send a quick text, but it’s not. Not only is it illegal to use your phone, it could also end in disaster. During those seconds that you’re staring at a screen, rather than looking at the road, the environment around you could change dramatically. A car could pull out, an animal or a child could run into the road, or a tree could fall without falling. You never know what is going to happen, so keep your eyes firmly on the road at all times.


Winter can pose serious problems for drivers. It’s not possible to prevent every accident, but over 90% of crashes occur as a result of errors made by drivers. Take these tips on board, and stay safe.

*This is a collaborative post*

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