The nights are drawing in and winter is just around the corner. Whether you’re driving in your own car or a vehicle you’ve hired from our Telford or Shrewsbury depots, the bad weather that comes hand in hand with these colder months means staying safe on the roads is more important than ever. Here are our top tips for staying safe on the Shropshire roads in the upcoming weeks...
Getting up ten minutes earlier will allow you to de-ice your car and clear your windscreens. Attempting to start driving when you can only see through a tiny de-misted hole in your windscreen isn’t ideal. Save yourself the stress and give yourself the additional time to prep your vehicle for your journey.
Keep an ear out
Listening out for local news bulletins is a must. Following the Shropshire Council on Twitter is a good idea, too. Imagine being stuck in hours of traffic on the A5 or motorway that could have been avoided by simply listening to traffic updates and re-calculating your route.
Plan, plan, plan
On a similar note, planning your journey is really important. Not only will it make you feel more confident but, if you opt for a more sheltered route, you can avoid high winds and all the stress that accompanies them.
When arriving at your destination, avoid parking under trees, telephone lines or anything else that may topple over and potentially damage your car. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your car is in a safe and suitable spot.
Before you head off, it’s important to carry out a few safety checks. Ensure your windscreen wipers are fully functional and also remember to fill your vehicle up with fuel before you travel. Getting stuck in traffic leads to increased fuel consumption. Your fuel economy can be reduced even further when you have your lights, heater and wipers switched on. That’s why having a full tank is essential.
To fog light, or not to fog light?
Fog lights are, of course, to be used when visibility is extremely reduced. This is to the point where you can't see the tail lights of the car in front of you.
In heavy rain, though, you shouldn’t use your fog lights. Not only can they mask your break lights but they can also dazzle drivers behind you. The last thing you want is cars crashing into the back of your vehicle, so don’t take the chance.
Speeding through puddles
Aquaplaning can cause a lot of unnecessary accidents. Driving too fast through standing water means your tyres can lose contact with the road. To rectify this issue, simply ease off the accelerator and don’t break. Just wait until you gain full control of steering again and you’ll be on your way.
Always carry an ice scraper and de-icer with you. It’s a legal requirement for your front and rear windscreens to be clear at all times. Whilst your windows may be clear when you set off, the equipment will come in handy for your return journey. It’s also a good idea to bring along a torch and some warm clothing just in case you breakdown and get stranded in the dark.
There you have it. Hopefully you’re feeling confident and ready to navigate the roads this winter. Are you in need of a vehicle to get you from A to B in the colder weather? Call us on 01952 570057 (Telford) or 01743 770035 (Shrewsbury) to speak to a member of the team and get a quote.