8 tips to stay safe on the roads this winter, +1 extra because it’s Christmas
It’s that time of year again, and no I am not referring to the seasonal foods and gingerbread lattes. The nights are getting longer as we all gear up for those long commutes to visit relatives for sleep-inducing Christmas dinners and heart-warming festive films.
We are all, too familiar with travelling up and down the country in one day or if you’re lucky enough to be visiting a home with a spare room to stay in, or had the foresight to book a hotel in the months prior to Christmas avoiding re-enacting a modern version of the nativity play.
The department of transport in Britain found in 2014 there were up to 2,274 injuries with 251 of these being serious on UK roads when snow or ice was present. So, for the designated drivers of Christmas and winter, we put together a list of the tips and tricks you can do before setting out on your Christmas commute this year or even just driving this winter to keep you safer on the road.
Check the tire pressure; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops
Not only will this save you money on fuel and improve your ride, but happy tires will increase your traction and control on roads during a period when they are infamously hazardous.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly
With the roads getting frosty and, in some locations, icy it is important to manage your speed and not assume you will have the same amount of grip as normal. Setting off in second gear can reduce wheel slip in icy conditions.
Test your battery; battery power drops along with the temperature
We don’t want you to end up cold on the side of the road waiting for roadside recovery, check your vehicle battery regularly and if you aren’t using your car for extended periods take it for a short trip.
Increase following distances to 8 to 10 seconds
We all are familiar with that post-meal fatigue that accompanies a Christmas banquet or growing sleepy as we brave long journeys on dark roads our response times slow. So, on your winter journeys leave a little more room between yourself and the vehicle in front. You can even use in-car devices like theo to keep you aware of incoming vehicles or if you are too close the car in front.
Buy a Theo, an extra pair of eyes on the road to keep you safe
Theo devices are all fitted with a 2-way integrated speaker which runs via 4G ensuring that in the event of an accident or emergency we can always get in touch, ensure that you are safe or get you the help you need. In addition to this with our forward-collision warning, we aim to keep drivers alert on the road and avoid potential accidents.
Plan your journeys ahead of departure
Lower your time spent sitting in traffic and avoid accident-prone areas by looking up your trips prior to departure. You are your car’s best safety feature so keep yourself refreshed and rested. In a study carried out by the Guardian drivers were found to add an extra 116 miles to their journeys in December. Check to see if your route features rest stops so you can stay alert on your trip.
Stats from- https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/christmas/christmas-2017-british-families-festive-driving-relatives-travel-stress-shopping-pantomime-a8099016.html
Plan your route with -https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/highways-england
trafficscotland.org, www.trafficwatchni.com/home, www.traffic-wales.com
Keep your fuel tank at least half full to avoid line freeze
There’s nothing worse than sitting in your car waiting for the engine to start up pleading for the slow stuttering to turn in to the rev that promises you can start your journey. By making sure your fuel tank is at least half full you can heavily mitigate the risk of your line freezing over.
Check your wiper blades and replace them when necessary
If there’s one thing England is known for its weather, well maybe infamous for. This winter the Met office has warned us of below-average temperatures across the country, meaning snow, sleet, and rain in any order. To ensure you always have a clear view of the road ahead.
Raise your seat
An elevates position when driving comes recommended by Chevy giving drivers improved visibility of the road and potential obstacles in front or around your vehicle.
Sources and Links
The Independent Online.