How To Drive Safe In The Winter

Winter-driving

During the winter, roads in the UK often become much more treacherous. The weather conditions, whether it’s rain, snow, slush, or even ice, require more responsible and safe driving, even when at low speeds.

Winter Maintenance

Good car maintenance is essential all year around but, when the colder season hits, you should consider some additional factors. For instance, when checking your regular oil levels, be sure to check your antifreeze.

This is important because you have to ensure the antifreeze is drained out before you top it up – this is because it can lose its anti-corrosion properties. Likewise, you should make sure you are adding the correct blend of water and antifreeze, or simply use one of the premixed solutions that are readily available.

Likewise, do not forget about your coolant. This also keeps the engine in check. Even when it’s cold outside, you should ensure suitable levels of all your fluids.

When it comes to your wider winter car kit, you should always check your light bulbs and battery, as well. You’ll often be driving in the cold, as well as the dark, and these will prove invaluable.

Road Surfaces And Grip

One of the bigger challenges when driving in the winter is grip. Snow and slush, for instance, can often create a layer between your car and the road, making the car less responsible and more difficult to grip with.

As a result, you should always drive slower in these conditions. This will give you time to make corrections and ensure a decent, safe amount of grip. Harsh acceleration, likewise, will only cause your car to slip, especially on the most smooth surfaces, such as ice.

Furthermore, you should also take steps to ensure your car has the best grip possible. It goes without saying that winter tyres are designed for these conditions, operating best at lower temperatures and offering grip over snow and slush surfaces.

Braking

One of the more difficult things to do in the winter is break. This is because snow forms a layer between you and the road – similar to aquaplaning – while ice offers little grip to brake against. Apply the brakes too hard and you’ll simply lock the wheels while your car continues to slide forward.

 

Instead, when you know you need to break, shift down into a lower gear early on and allow the car to slow down naturally. This will make the braking process much easier. Of course, for this to work, your car needs to be in a good condition, so it helps to give the brakes a quick check (make sure they aren’t leaking brake fluid!) and ensure the correct tyre pressure for the best grip.

Dealing With Visibility

Furthermore, there are many situations in which your visibility may be less than normal. This includes when it is snowing, morning fog or even just longer night periods. In these instances, you should use your lights accordingly and drive slower. This is vital around corners, as your visibility will be at its very lowest and neither you, or drivings on the other side, may be aware of each other.

Speaking of visibility, black ice is also something you need to consider.  Since it is very hard to detect visually, you should always drive safely, which is why it’s advised to not drive at the highest possible speed, especially when the temperature is low.

So, there you go: a few quick tips to help ensure safe driving in the winter. It is always important to be prepared and, especially in the colder conditions, it’s much better to be safe than sorry!

During the winter, roads in the UK often become much more treacherous. The weather conditions, whether it’s rain, snow, slush, or even ice, require more responsible and safe driving, even when at low speeds.

Winter Maintenance

Good car maintenance is essential all year around but, when the colder season hits, you should consider some additional factors. For instance, when checking your regular oil levels, be sure to check your antifreeze.

This is important because you have to ensure the antifreeze is drained out before you top it up – this is because it can lose its anti-corrosion properties. Likewise, you should make sure you are adding the correct blend of water and antifreeze, or simply use one of the premixed solutions that are readily available.

Likewise, do not forget about your coolant. This also keeps the engine in check. Even when it’s cold outside, you should ensure suitable levels of all your fluids.

When it comes to your wider winter car kit, you should always check your light bulbs and battery, as well. You’ll often be driving in the cold, as well as the dark, and these will prove invaluable.

Road Surfaces And Grip

One of the bigger challenges when driving in the winter is grip. Snow and slush, for instance, can often create a layer between your car and the road, making the car less responsible and more difficult to grip with.

As a result, you should always drive slower in these conditions. This will give you time to make corrections and ensure a decent, safe amount of grip. Harsh acceleration, likewise, will only cause your car to slip, especially on the most smooth surfaces, such as ice.

Furthermore, you should also take steps to ensure your car has the best grip possible. It goes without saying that winter tyres are designed for these conditions, operating best at lower temperatures and offering grip over snow and slush surfaces.

Braking

One of the more difficult things to do in the winter is break. This is because snow forms a layer between you and the road – similar to aquaplaning – while ice offers little grip to brake against. Apply the brakes too hard and you’ll simply lock the wheels while your car continues to slide forward.

Instead, when you know you need to break, shift down into a lower gear early on and allow the car to slow down naturally. This will make the braking process much easier. Of course, for this to work, your car needs to be in a good condition, so it helps to give the brakes a quick check (make sure they aren’t leaking brake fluid!) and ensure the correct tyre pressure for the best grip.

Dealing With Visibility

Furthermore, there are many situations in which your visibility may be less than normal. This includes when it is snowing, morning fog or even just longer night periods. In these instances, you should use your lights accordingly and drive slower. This is vital around corners, as your visibility will be at its very lowest and neither you, or drivings on the other side, may be aware of each other.

Speaking of visibility, black ice is also something you need to consider.  Since it is very hard to detect visually, you should always drive safely, which is why it’s advised to not drive at the highest possible speed, especially when the temperature is low.

So, there you go: a few quick tips to help ensure safe driving in the winter. It is always important to be prepared and, especially in the colder conditions, it’s much better to be safe than sorry!

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