Winter is here and with it can come unpredictable roads and challenging driving conditions. So this week, the team at Telford van rental experts Bayfield Vehicle Hire thought we’d share our top tips for staying safe on the roads this winter.
1. Slow Down!
Our biggest advice is to SLOW DOWN in adverse weather conditions.
Checking your speed is extremely important when driving in winter conditions when roads can be covered with ice, water, or leaves. UK road traffic safety charity Brake state that every 1mph reduction in average speed can lead to a 5% fall in crash rates.
Make sure you drive within recommended speed limits and avoid ‘tailgating’ (driving closely behind the car in front of you) as sudden braking may be more difficult in winter driving conditions.
2. Clear Your Windscreen Properly
One of the worst things about winter is being greeted by that thick layer of ice on your windscreen. And why does it always seem to happen when you are late for work?
Frustrating as it is, you need to take the time to properly clear any ice from your windscreen and also defog the inside of your screen before setting off.
The Highway Code says that when driving in adverse conditions you must be able to see out of “every glass panel of your vehicle”. Therefore, if you engage in ‘port holing’ (driving whilst looking through only a small cleared section of your windscreen), you could be fined.
Don’t forget to check for ice on your mirrors too!
3. Take Emergency Provisions
Whether it’s gridlock on the motorway or adverse weather which blocks the roads, you never know when you could get stranded in your vehicle during the winter.
It is therefore important to stock up with emergency provisions to keep you safe and warm if the unexpected happens. We recommend always travelling with a pack of essential items such as warm clothing, blankets, water, and snacks.
It’s also wise to ensure that your mobile phone is fully charged before leaving the house so you can call for help if you need it, or keep friends and relatives informed of your whereabouts.
4. Check Your Tyres
Winter driving can mean hazardous conditions where you regularly have to contend with water, leaves, mud, ice and snow. It's therefore vital to check your tyres often to make sure they are ready for anything the winter roads throw at them.
Checking tyre pressure and the general condition of your tyres is very important. Signs of wear and tear could mean it's time to invest in a new set of tyres. You may also want to consider switching to winter tyres to help cope with the more challenging winter driving conditions.
5. Remember Your Lights!
If you start your journey later in the day and daylight turns into dusk, it can be easy to forget to turn your lights on. Stay aware of changing light and make sure you also use your lights during bad weather or darker mornings to be sure you are seen.
You should also prepare for unexpected hazards by indicating in good time, and always be prepared to use your hazard lights to alert other drivers of any danger ahead.
Need Van or Car Hire This Winter?
If you’re going to be driving to visit family or friends this festive season and need a car or van rental, then contact Bayfield Vehicle Hire.