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Winter Driving Tips

16 November 2010 No Comment

Driving in the winter can prove to be a challenge even for those who have lived in a colder climate all their lives. The unpredictability of the road can make for dangerous conditions no matter how much experience a driver has with that particular stretch of road. To prevent against accidents, drivers can follow a few helpful winter driving tips.

Get your vehicle prepared for winter

Winter weather can wreak havoc on a car, so before snow and ice set in, bring your vehicle to a garage to get it inspected and serviced as necessary. A few things to check include:

  • anti-freeze levels
  • wipers and screen washer fluid
  • lights
  • battery
  • brakes

Use discretion with speed limits

Many drivers will aim to drive the posted speed limits regardless of road conditions. However, it is best to use your discretion when driving in fog, snow, or rain. Even treated roads can pose a hazard, so always use caution when driving no matter what.

Stay updated on latest traffic news

If you are traveling a long distance, or if the weather is especially bad, check the radio or call the highways agency for the latest updates on road conditions. This way, you can be alerted to any road closures or accidents so you can plan accordingly and won’t rush to your destination

Only drive in wintry weather when necessary

If the journey is not essential, consider saving the trip for another time. By keeping up to date with the road’s conditions, you can plan the trip for another day when the ice, rain, snow, or fog has subsided.

Warm up your car

If the temperature is below freezing, allow your car a few seconds to warm up to its normal running temperature before taking it out on the road. Idling too long can be bad for the environment, so only remain parked long enough for the windscreen to defrost. After that, drive the car gently for the first few minutes. Driving will help to warm up the engine more quickly than will sitting idly. Never warm a car inside a garage or other enclosed space, as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other safety precautions that you would take year round should be followed especially carefully in the winter; this includes following other vehicles at a safe distance and carrying emergency supplies in case your vehicle breaks down on the road.

Many drivers are apprehensive about driving in the winter. However, following these winter driving tips can help you to remain safe on the road even in the most inclement weather.