Road Safety and Driving in WinterTuesday, February 02, 2016
As a learner driver, road safety has recently become an important issue for me- and now that I'm in control of a car myself (admittedly under full instruction!) it's something I've had to think about. I live in a city that's well renowned for being a bit of a nightmare to drive in: a ring road that confuses even the locals, huge roundabouts at every turn and badly signed bus lanes in unexpected places that have landed thousands of drivers (including my boyfriend) with a nice £60 fine dropping onto their doormat a few weeks later. As well as the general traffic and congestion of a horrible busy city, throw some bad weather into the mix and it can spell trouble unless you're really careful. Starting lessons in January means I've already had to deal with issues like snow and heavy rain which isn't ideal when I'm not the most confident on the roads as it is! Since I'll (hopefully) be out in our little Citroen C3 on my own soon, I wanted to do a bit of research into safety on the roads- especially during the winter time.
Only Make Essential Journeys in Very Bad Weather
An obvious one but worth mentioning- when the weather is very bad your best bet is to stay off the roads completely unless the journey is absolutely essential. With slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility it's not worth taking the risk. Not that the weather gets quite this bad very often in the UK, but it has its moments and so best to use your judgement and always play it safe if you're able to. Drive extra carefully leaving a good separation distance between you and other cars, if the roads are icy using the highest gear possible will stop the wheels from skidding (putting my driving theory knowledge to the test there!)
Check Your Lights, Fluid Levels and Wipers
Once I pass my test I'll be making regular three hour trips to Yorkshire to see my best friend, and so I want to make sure I get in the habit of going through important checks before every journey. When you're travelling at high speeds for long distances there's more chance of cars breaking down and so it's worthwhile being prepared and making sure anything that can be topped up or checked in advance is done. Having a look at oil levels, topping up screen wash, making sure there's de-icer in the car and checking all of the lights and wipers and working takes a matter of minutes but could save a lot of hassle later down the line.
Check Your Tyres
A large proportion of accidents happen throughout the winter due to bad weather, with a huge 48% of those being tyre related issues such as skidding. With the diverse weather conditions that UK experiences it's unreasonable to think that one type of tyres can provide consistently high safety levels throughout the year. So ensuring your tyres are not only in good condition but are also suitable for the seasons is also important, Point S have wide variety of car tyres in all sizes and from all the top brands available at the best prices. You're even able to book car tyres online along with fitting appointments at a time of your choosing from a Point S depot too.
Pack an Emergency Kit
If the worst were to happen and you end up stranded there are a few things that will make things a whole lot more comfortable and safe while you wait for help to arrive. Blankets, thick socks and boots will ensure you don't get dangerously cold especially if you're waiting for a while. An ice scraper, de-icer and a torch are all likely to come in useful as well as a mobile phone charger- not being able to make a call in an emergency could make a disaster a whole lot worse! Finally a reflective warning sign to let other road users know to take care and that you've had to stop. Hopefully you never have to resort to your emergency kit but if you're going out in bad weather being prepared makes sense.
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