Now that the cold months are here and the snow is beginning to fall, it is more important than ever that we all look at the way we are driving on the roads in poor conditions. It will come as no surprise that road accidents are higher at this time of year than any other, and if we all add extra caution to the way in which we drive, we can all do our bit to ensure that we reduce these statistics as much as possible.
UK lawyers Slater & Gordon have launched a fantastic travel winter awareness campaign with some great details around those who travels, and exactly why you need to stay safe during the harsh months, check out the infographic below for your winter travel needs. In line with this we wanted to delve further into road safety, and these are the reasons why you must be careful when driving in winter conditions.
Black ice is named as such because it cannot be seen when you are driving, but it can actually cause you more problems than the ice that you can see. You may have hit black ice once or twice before and you’ll know that it can give you quite the shock. Driving in your usual manner and then hitting black ice could be disastrous and this is just one reason why driving slower and with more focus is the safest way.
This time of year sees thick fog, rain, snow, sleet and hail, all of which can cause problems for driver’s visibility. Should you be on the road when it precipitates like this, you must ensure that you can see enough to keep going, if you are in any doubt then stop, and wait for the conditions to improve. If you can see well enough, just remember that you won’t have the normal vision which you’re used to and you should give all cars around you a wide berth. A late indicator in this kind of conditions could easily see you drive into the back of someone, the last thing that anyone needs, especially in poor conditions.
Braking distances change dramatically during the winter and you must adapt with the roads. This goes both for your own braking, and the amount of space which you give people when they brake. To be safe, double you braking distance to ensure that you don’t cause any issues of yourself or for other road users.
Even if you have winter tires on your car, your traction will still be severely different and could cause issues if you are not smart. The mixture of dirt, grit and salt on the roads, as well as any snow, ice or frost which may have laid, combine to give you much poorer traction which you will feel more when you try to climb in the vehicle. If you live higher up and have to drive uphill to get home, consider what the conditions are like and leave the car at the bottom if you have any doubts.
With just a small adjustment in your driving style, you can help to make the roads safer this winter.