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Winter driving safety tips

Christmas is a busy time on the roads and as we edge closer to the shortest day of the year, driving conditions can become trickier. 

To help keep you safe during your journeys, we’ve put together our top winter driving safety tips… 

Thoroughly Defrost Windows

We appreciate it’s all too tempting to clear a small patch just enough to see-through when your windscreen is frozen and you’re against the clock. However, not clearing your windscreen properly is very dangerous and it’s illegal too! 

Check Your Vehicle

This may sound obvious, but how often do you take the time to check if your vehicle is safe to drive before a journey? Vital checks include; tyre pressure and tread depth, brake responsiveness, battery power, properly working lights, engine oil levels, and antifreeze levels too.

Fit the Right Tyres

Very few of us go to the effort of getting our tyres changed between summer and winter options, but choosing to fit winter tyres could prove dividends. They provide extra traction in potentially slippery and icy conditions, as well as a deeper depth of tread. 

Carry Essential Items

There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam or your car breaking down, so if the worst should happen - be prepared! Make sure you always travel with essential items, such as; a spare coat or blanket, high-vis vest, drinks and snacks, warning triangle, torch, spare tyre, first aid kit, an ice scraper and a car jack. 

Allow More Time

Always allow plenty of time for your journey, especially in more hazardous driving conditions. Running late and rushing around can cause carelessness on the roads, tempting you perhaps to speed and not pay proper attention. 

Maintain Your Distance

When the roads are wet or icy, it’s so important to keep your distance from the car in front. The standard distance between you and the car in front is a two-second gap, but when road conditions worsen, this increases to as much as ten times the distance. 

Steer Into a Skid

If you happen to skid on an icy road, first and foremost try not to panic! Gently steer into the direction of the skid if you can. DON’T slam on your brakes or take your hands off the steering wheel, instead guide the car and gently apply the brakes. 

Whatever your plans this Christmas, make sure you stay safe on the roads.