Ah, yes – wintertime. It’s the time of hot chocolate, fireplaces, and loved ones. What wintertime also brings, however, is some of the most dangerous driving conditions there are. With icy roads, vision-obstructing snow, and blocked off roads due to weather conditions, wintertime is essentially a death trap for the average driver.
To avoid any unwanted slip ups, here’s a list of our must-know tips this winter.
Don't leave your house.
Just do yourself a favor and follow this tip and you won’t even have to read the rest of this article. We all know you don’t actually want to be leaving your house from December-March, anyway. What’s that? Have responsibilities? Don’t find us amusing? Okay, fine…
Prepare your vehicle.
Three rules this winter: prepare, prepare prepare. If you prepare well enough, you won’t even have to deal with any kind of aftermath –doesn’t that sound ideal?
Make sure your car is stocked with an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and melting salt. That way, if you’re away from home and park your car somewhere over night, you’ll have all the tools necessary to get your car (and yourself) out of there.
Also, make sure you keep your gas filled at least half way so that you can heat up your car before leaving your house or even stay in your car to keep warm in case you get stranded somewhere (WARNING: make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. We don’t want you guys dying on us just because you got a little chilly).
Slow and steady wins the race.
We don’t care how late you are to wherever you’re going. You will be infinitely more late if you end up getting into an accident on the way there. SLOW DOWN.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best way to regain traction and avoid skidding. Remember: it takes way longer to stop on an icy road. Prepare to stop way before you actually have to avoid less than fun things like running a stoplight or hitting the car in front of you.
Check your tires.
Bad tires can be seriously problematic even in good conditions. Adding snow and ice into the mix and the results are terrible. Install a good set of all-season or winter tires to stay safe this winter. They optimize traction and will keep you on the pavement and away from sliding off the road.
Lights are essential, until they're not.
Don’t use fog lamps unless visibility is really really poor -- your rear fog lamps will blind the driver behind you, and the effect is intensified in snow, putting you at even greater risk. Front fog lamps have the same effect for cars in front of you, especially when the snow is reflecting the lights back at them.
So what exactly is “really really poor”? The Highway Code says that you should only use your fog lamps when visibility drops to 100m, which in English is about the point where you stop seeing the taillights of the car in front of you.
All in all, keep yourself safe this winter by following these guidelines. In any case, you could always make 100% sure that nothing will go wrong and just not leave your house.