Staying safe on the roads this Winter

Posted on: 04 November 2011 by Alexander Hay

Whether it's snow, frost, ice or slush, follow these top tips to stay safe and well during the long dark nights ahead of us all...

It's cold out there...As all traces of Summer have gone, and Autumn is increasingly freezing itself away, it might be a good time to consider how to stay on the roads this Winter, and not end up in a ditch.

As it happens, Winter is a surprisingly safe time of year to drive. One benefit of snow and ice is that people drive more carefully, which helped reduce road accidents in 2010, as part of a wider trend that saw traffic accidents decline generally.

That said, it's always better to be safe than sorry, and other awful cliches. So, in the spirit of long dark nights and painful mornings scraping ice off your car, here are 10 top tips to make sure you stay safe on the roads this Winter:

  • Make sure you've put on Winter tires, as these respond better to the cold than summer tires, which lose their grip and make breaking much harder.

  • Make sure your tires are on properly and check their pressure regularly.

  • You're already keeping your windscreen free of ice, but make sure the wipers and washes are still working and check your headlamps too.

  • Make sure your battery doesn't freeze and keep it greased.

  • Have you got winter cover from the AA, RAC or other organisation? If you do, make sure you know what it can do. If not, get some now.

  • At night, drive slower and stick to well-lit roads.

  • Winter can play havoc on your exhaust and engine. Check these every morning, especially if there is frost or snow to contend with.

  • Make sure you have a warm blanket or cover and winter clothes so if you do break down, at least you won't freeze waiting for the repair man (or woman) to turn up!

  • Be doubly vigilant when driving down residential streets. The roads may be slippery and children can still dart out at the worst possible moment! Drive slower than the speed limit and stay alert.

  • Make sure your mobile phone is always charged and you have all the most useful numbers saved on it.

And finally, try to relax. It will be Spring soon!

Special thanks to Michelin, HiQ & TyreSafe for their help in writing this article.

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Alexander Hay

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