I hate the winter! OK so perhaps I sound a little aggressive but you know what I mean, the ever unpredictable yet always extremely cold weather, the dark nights and constantly feeling blue; if it wasn’t for Christmas, this season would be a real dud! I’ll tell you what I really struggle with during this half of the season the most and it beats everything hands down… driving!
Don’t get me wrong, driving is a fantastic skill to have and being able to take charge and get yourself anywhere is not only a great feeling but a hugely convenient during the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life however driving in the winter can easily be a tremendous challenge.
Limited visibility that is affected by harsh weather conditions which can result in tricky and dangerous conditions can make driving in the winter months a challenge for even the best of them. Unless we somehow manage to switch with the Australians and get their heat for the next six months or choose to hibernate like a turtle, winter driving although can be limited, can’t quite be entirely unavoidable.
We can never be sure what the road conditions will be like until they actually hit but what we can do is ensure that we are as prepared as possible in order to avoid any issues and preventing danger. Not sure what kind of preparation is the winter driving? Below is my ultimate road safety checklist that should get you started…
· Service – Making sure that your car is in the best condition possible is the most effective way to ensure that you won’t face an unsuspecting breakdown or any other kind of hassle whilst out on the road. Knowing that your car is working properly will not only provide a great piece of mind but will help to ensure that you can face anything the winter throws at you without increasing your risk of danger!
· Tyres – As the foremost part of your car that will come into contact with the road, it is important that your tyres are in the best condition. From tread depth to general wear and tear; are you taking care of your tyres? Consider either rotating your current tyres or even opting for a new replacement tyres and always make sure that you have an inflated spare in your boot just in case.
· Ice scraper/de-icer/antifreeze – We may or may not get snowfall but it is a given that during many mornings and evenings you will be faced with the dreaded layer of ice on your windscreen. Always be prepared with de-icing equipment and ensure that, if your car is parked in the drive or outside of the office all day that you have kept your levels of antifreeze topped up to avoid a frozen engine.
· Driving Style – It is important to note that amongst your entire safety checklist you put yourself on there too because as the driver, your style of driving and manoeuvring will play a major part in your on-road safety. Avoid harsh breaking and accelerating to prevent skidding, pull out in second gear if on a hill and avoid driving on desolated and un-gritted roads. As much as the above points are crucial, it is important that you also monitor your driving skills as they can play a huge part in your safety whilst on the road.
The winter can never be as fun as the summer, particularly when it comes to driving and it definitely isn’t as safe so be prepared and ensue that both your driving style and your car are ready for the unexpected. Opt to include an emergency first aid kit in your vehicle too as it is always better to be safe than sorry!