While the roads may be quieter this winter (although not by that much) due to the pandemic, it is still vital that motorists know how to drive safely as this can be an incredibly dangerous time for even experienced drivers. Here are the key areas to be aware of when driving in winter which will hopefully help you to drive safely and with confidence.

Driving on Snow & Ice

The aspect which causes the most accidents (and anxiety) when it comes to winter driving is driving on snow and ice. This is understandable because it becomes much harder to control the car and vehicle stopping distances are much longer. Where possible, you should avoid driving when there is snow and/or ice on the roads, but when this is not possible you need to drive slowly and gently and provide a greater gap behind the car in front of you.

Car Issues

People also worry about having car trouble in winter which is understandable. This could include the car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, being involved in an accident or not getting the car to start in the morning. Car maintenance here is key, which should include upgrading your car tyres so that you can benefit from better grip on the road. You should also keep a winter emergency kit in the car at all times. Plan your journey carefully and tell people the route (as well as having a fully charged phone). While you should avoid driving in winter where possible, you also do not want to leave the car unused for too long. A short drive around the block is smart if you are not using the car often.

Stopping Distances

Following this point, you also need to be aware of the difference in stopping distances in the winter months. The Highway Code advises that total stopping distance should be at least double the distance in wet conditions, while on ice it can be as much as 10 times, so you always need to be aware of what the conditions are and keep these stopping distances in mind at all times.

Poor Visibility

Poor visibility is another major hazard when driving in winter. This is so for many reasons, including shorter days, fog, rain or snow. Obviously, low visibility is dangerous for a multitude of reasons and endangers other road users and pedestrians. Using your lights appropriately, driving at a slow but safe speed, keeping your distance and keeping your windows clear are all important safety features to remember. Additionally, try to avoid distractions and listen for traffic where possible.

Winter can be a stressful season for motorists and it can also be incredibly dangerous if you are not careful. Hopefully, these tips will come in use and help you to drive with confidence and safely this winter.