Tips For Driving in Winter
Wednesday 2nd January 2019
Now that winter is upon us, it's likely that you'll be driving on slippery roads with reduced visibility. We recommend ensuring your car is maintained, that you have the right equipment with you in your vehicle during winter months and that you adjust your driving style accordingly to suit the road conditions. We've previously put together a handy Winter Checklist covering how to prepare your car and what equipment to have on hand - why not check it out to make sure you're ready for the seasonal change in driving conditions?
Winter driving tips
Driving in the rain
When driving in the rain, prepare to experience increased stopping distances due to the wet road, reduced visibility caused by water on your windscreen and potential aquaplaning caused by puddles.
When driving in the rain, we recommend:
- Slowing down to take in to account the decrease in grip caused by the wet road surface.
- Increasing the gap between you and the car in front due to the combination of decreased grip, visibility and braking capabilities.
- Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you, which will make it easier for your tyres to displace the water on the road.
- Being careful on the brakes to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.
- Avoid using cruise control, which could cause your car to speed up if your vehicle begins aquaplaning.
- Testing your brakes each time you drive through water.
Driving in snow & ice
Driving in snow and ice will cause a significant decrease in grip and as such, drivers should take extra precautions and leave more time for each journey.
Here's some tips for driving in the snow:
- Be gentle on the accelerator and brakes as there's less traction
- Drive slower in general. There's a lot less grip on the roads so everything takes longer. We recommend driving in a higher gear to maintain traction.
- Increase your following distance to take the longer braking distances in to account.
- While moving uphill, reduce your speed but keep momentum when possible.
Driving in the dark
Many drivers, especially newer drivers, lack confidence when driving in the dark and what's more, 40% of all collisions occur in the dark. During winter it gets dark early, often before you've left work for the day, so here's a few recommendations:
- Use your headlights at all times - they'll not only help you see the road in front of you but help other cars see you. Use your full beam on unlit roads but be considerate to other drivers and switch to dipped beam when facing other drivers.
- Stay alert as pedestrians and animals are harder to spot in the dark. You should take extra care around schools, residential areas and pubs.
- Keep your windscreen and headlights clean to maintain your visibility and make it easier for other drivers to see you.
The cold weather of winter can compromise your car battery performance, so why not take advantage of a free battery check with us? Book a free battery check today at your nearest Formula One Autocentre.