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How’s My Driving? - Safe Driving Blog Tips

Navigating Winter Roads: 10 Safer Driving Tips

As winter blankets the UK in frost and snow, the challenges on the roads amplify. For those in the logistics industry and all road users, adapting to the winter weather is paramount for safety. Managing driving speed becomes a critical skill in ensuring a smooth and secure journey. In this blog, we'll delve into essential tips for navigating the winter roads, drawing insights from road safety experts.
 
Prioritise Winter Vehicle Maintenance
 
Before hitting the icy roads, ensure your vehicle is winter-ready. Regular maintenance checks, especially on brakes, tires, lights, and the heating system, are crucial. If you do spot any potential issues, try and address them promptly to avoid breakdowns or issues in challenging weather conditions.
 
Adapt to Changing Road Conditions
 
Winter weather in the UK can be unpredictable, with variations in snow, ice, and rain. If you can, try and stay informed about weather forecasts and road conditions. Adjust your driving speed according to the terrain and visibility. Remember, it's better to arrive safely and late, rather than not at all.
Increase Following Distances
 
Slippery roads demand increased stopping distances, so remember to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front, giving yourself ample time to react to unexpected situations. This practice is particularly crucial for drivers in the logistics industry who are often navigating heavier vehicles.
 
Utilize Winter Tires
 
Investing in winter tires can significantly enhance traction on icy or snowy roads. These tires are designed to perform optimally in cold conditions, providing better grip and control. 
 
Master Smooth Braking Techniques
 
Abrupt braking on icy roads can lead to skidding. Remember to practice smooth and gradual braking to maintain control of your vehicle. Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) can assist in preventing skids, but understanding and mastering smooth braking remain essential.
 
Stay Informed About Gritting Routes
 
Local authorities often deploy gritters to improve road conditions. Stay informed about gritting routes and schedules, especially if you're planning a long journey. Gritted roads offer better traction, making them safer for driving.
 
Be Mindful of Reduced Visibility
 
Winter weather often brings reduced visibility due to fog, snow, or sleet. Use dipped headlights to increase your visibility to other road users. Additionally, ensure that all lights on your vehicle are clean and functioning correctly.
 
Plan for Longer Travel Times
 
Winter weather can slow down traffic significantly. Plan for longer travel times, especially if you're part of the logistics industry with scheduled deliveries. Rushing any time can increase the risk of an incident - especially in challenging conditions.
 
Avoid Cruise Control in Icy Conditions
 
While cruise control is convenient in normal conditions, it's best avoided on icy roads. Maintaining manual control over your speed and vehicle dynamics allows you to react quickly to changing conditions.
 
Carry Emergency Supplies
 
Prepare for the unexpected by carrying emergency supplies in your vehicle. Items such as a blanket, a flashlight, a bottle of water, a reflective waterproof jacket, a spare phone battery pack and charger, warning signs and non-perishable snacks can be invaluable in case of delays or emergencies.
  
Remember, managing driving speed in winter is not just about reaching your destination; it's about ensuring you, and those sharing the road with you, arrive safely. Stay informed, stay cautious, and make winter roads a safer place for everyone. For additional information and resources on winter road safety, why not read our other blogs 'The Ultimate Winter Car Kit' and 'Safer Driving This Winter'
21 November 2023

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If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss setting your company up with the scheme, you can phone us on 01279 415 480. or email us at info@howsmy.co.uk.