Winter is a stressful time even for experienced and normally confident motorists. The wet and sometimes icy roads, low visibility, and freezing temperatures create perilous driving conditions, so it is vital that motorists know how they can stay safe when driving during the colder months of the year. Despite this, nearly a third of UK drivers admit to not driving slower in wet driving conditions. Here are a few essential tips for avoiding common winter accidents that will help.
Understand Stopping Distances
As mentioned above, many motorists do not slow down in wet driving conditions. This is incredibly dangerous when you consider that stopping distances can be 10 times longer in icy conditions. Therefore, motorists should read up on stopping distances and remember these when driving in winter (particularly icy conditions). It is also wise to allow yourself extra time for winter journeys so that you do not feel rushed.
Choose the Right Tyres
Your car tyres play a particularly important role during the winter months. You will need car tyres that have good grip to the roads, which will make it easier to control the vehicle in icy conditions. Therefore, it is wise to replace your car tyres before winter so that you can benefit from driving on fresh tyres with good tread depth – this should also help provide peace of mind.
Use Your Headlights
It is not just the slippery roads that create perilous driving conditions. Many people find themselves driving to and from work when it is dark, which can create visibility issues as well. This is why it is important to use your headlights when appropriate (be sure to dip them for any oncoming traffic).
Distractions are one of the most common causes of accidents throughout the year. This means that it is vital that you avoid distractions when driving in winter, meaning you should put away your phone, refrain from eating, and avoid listening to the radio too loudly.
Beware of Black Ice
Black ice is every motorist’s worst nightmare in winter. Black ice is hard to spot as it is a thin layer of ice appearing on the road, making it transparent. You should beware of any black ice, which usually appears in shaded areas. If you do go over back ice, you should apply steady pressure to the brakes and make small adjustments to the steering instead of overcorrecting (steering in the direction you want to go).
Hopefully, this post will be informative and help you to feel more confident behind the wheel during winter. It will always be stressful and difficult to drive in wintery conditions, but when you know how to stay safe and avoid common accidents, you should navigate the roads safely and feel less stressed.