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Dec 22

Staying safe on the road this winter when travelling

Posted by:AutoMoney

Staying safe on the road

Many people hit the road every day to get to work, school, shopping, home, holidays, family visits etc. The list is endless! But in winter, the roads can become a very different place to be altogether and for experienced and inexperienced drivers alike, can be tricky to handle. 

Moving

When setting off, it is advisable to pull away with the car in 2nd gear, being sure to very slowly and gently ease off the clutch to make sure there is no wheel spin. In an automatic car, ‘winter’ mode is best to be activated. 

Visibility and glare

When getting in a cold car, the heat coming off your body as well as your passenger’s will create a condensation effect in the car, steaming up the windows, and this is that last thing that you need when you are trying extra hard to concentrate on the road. Make sure that you have your air conditioning inside the car working properly and vents open to help the circulation of air around the vehicle. Also, it is really important to bear in mind your other road users when driving – never use fog lights unless visibility is poor enough to warrant them, as the brightness of the fog lights, when on, could bounce off the ice and snow, reflecting into drivers’ eyes.

Stay away

When driving in bad conditions, it is so important to have a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. In bad conditions, such as ice, snow or heavy rain, stopping distances are ten times longer, so to avoid nasty accidents, please do keep your space. 

On ice

To help avoid the risk of slipping and skidding on the ice, drive using a higher gear – as high as possible - and remember to brake gently. If you do happen to skid in the car, ease off the accelerator gently, lift your foot off from the brake pedal and gently steer into the direction in which you are skidding – once your tyres have regained grip, you can rectify – it is really important to remember to try not to use jerky movements during this. 

Having a splash

Puddles are a nightmare in winter – they can be hiding all sorts. Deep potholes, accident debris, or even a kerb depending on how high the water or flooding is. Try to avoid deep looking puddles where possible by driving through the middle of them at a slow speed and try not to brake when standing in deep puddles. The biggest risk for a car in deep puddles is that water can get into the engine and enter the air intake and in most cars this is situated around the front end.

Image credit - http://bit.ly/1xttidl 

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