If you learned to drive or bought your first car in the spring or summer, you might not have had any experience driving in winter weather. You might not have spent much time driving in the dark, as most of your journeys can easily be completed inside daylight hours in the summer months. You might have limited experience driving in wet weather, and chances are you’ve never driven in snow and ice. Unfortunately, that’s all about to change. Ice and sleet might still be a while off, but more frequent rain showers and leaves on the roads mean that conditions are already more slippery, and your regular trip home front work might soon be in the dark.
Driving in winter can be scary for new drivers, and even long-time drivers often have more accidents during the winter months. The good news is, with a little preparation and a few helpful tips, driving in even the worst weather can be safe and comfortable.
Prepare Your Car
The last thing that you want in the winter is to break down away from home in bad weather. Winter conditions put express pressures on your tyres, battery and engine. So, go into the season knowing that your car is in great condition with help from kentsmartrepairs.com. It’s also a great time to get a service.
Pack Some Supplies
Keeping your car well-stocked over winter can help you to avoid breakdowns, and mean that if you do get stuck, you’ll be safe—some of the things that you should have in your car include.
· De-Icer and a windscreen scraper
· A map
· In-car phone charger or power bank
· A waterproof coat and boots
· Water and snacks
· A torch
· Basic first aid and tool kids
· Extra fuel – try to never drive with less than one-quarter of a tank
· An old rug or blanket, to place in front of your tyres if you do get stuck in snow
Give Yourself Extra Time to Make Even Short Journeys
In winter, most people drive more slowly, especially when it’s wet or icy. Make sure you give yourself longer to make trips, as traffic is bound to be worse than usual. You should also allow for ten minutes extra before you leave to de-ice your windows.
Brake and Accelerate More Slowly
Breaking times can be ten times longer in wet or icy conditions, and accelerating quickly can lead to wheel spins. Take your time with both to stay safe.
Give Yourself More Space
You are taking more time, and so are other people on the road. This means that you need to leave more space in front of you on the road.
Drive in warm clothes, and flat, sensible shoes with good grip, to keep your feet stable on the pedals when it’s wet.
Avoid Driving in the Worst Conditions or if You are Ill
If you can, avoid driving completely when the weather is very bad. If you are ill, you are the best judge. You should be fine with a minor cold, but if it’s more severe, or you are taking medication which makes you feel drowsy, your judgement will be impaired, and you should avoid the road.
Driving in winter can be nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before. But, after the first few weeks, you’ll have adjusted your driving style, got into better habits, and started automatically giving yourself more space and time. Go steady, and don’t worry.