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Drive Safely

Are you making these 6 Car Safety mistakes this Winter?

11th December 2017 | Cory Mosey

If you need to drive somewhere this winter but are worried about the weather, then this is the car safety guide for you.

Driving is difficult at the best of times, so it’s only natural you will be quite error prone during the harsher winter months.

Each year drivers make the same mistakes without fail, so if you want to stay safe this time around take a closer look at these 6 common car safety mistakes and how you should avoid them.

 

Common winter safety mistakes and how to prevent them

 

1. Driving too fast

You’d think this is a bit of a no brainer, right? Well sadly there are still some fairly selfish (and dangerous) individuals out there who take the law into their own hands, posing a risk to both road users and pedestrians. You aren’t Lewis Hamilton and there isn’t a prize at the end of the lights, yet people fail to register just how unpredictable the roads can be.

One wrong move and you could end up with more than you bargained for… especially if you’re a younger and more eager driver.

 

Solution: Slow down and take due care of other road users who may not be as vigilant.

 

2. Not allowing enough braking distance

Imagine walking directly behind someone on the street, following their every movement and then getting angry at them for stopping or slowing down after a few steps. That’s exactly what you’re doing when you tailgate someone, except you might actually kill them when you’re driving. Be smart, leave space.

Remember that braking distances are doubled in wet conditions, while they can be ten times that of normal roads while driving on snow or ice.

 

Solution: Leave at least one car’s length space between yourself and other road users and double that when on motorways.

 

3. Failing to clear snow from your car

In the UK it is illegal to drive on roads and motorways with an obstructed vision, so before setting off you should ensure that the following is checked:

– Remove any build-up of snow or ice from the windows

– Check that mirrors are clear

– Ensure license plates and lights are visible

– Remove snow that might cause an incident for other road users.

 

Solution: Have a window wiper and some de-icer at the ready to clear any obstructions. Better yet, you may also bring a thermos of hot water for the journey back home.

 

4. Overcorrecting on ice

It’s critical that you employ smooth driving techniques to have the best control over the vehicle. That means NO sharp turns, NO sudden movements, and NO heavy braking. Being smooth with your movements doesn’t happen overnight, but keeping a sensible head on your shoulders can help.

Ice doesn’t cause vehicles to crash, it’s the driver’s reaction to being on ice which causes accidents.

 

Solution: Don’t mistake summer driving with winter driving. Drive slower, make less movements and be wary of others.

 

5. Driving fatigued

Over the Christmas period we put a lot of undue stress on ourselves. Whether it’s the increased workload of our jobs, trying to cram a last minute shop in, or visiting distant family members, it can invariably fatigue us. Driving while tired will reduce your reaction time and it only takes a split-second to encounter a life-changing incident.

 

Solution: Take plenty of breaks, never leave on an empty stomach and stock up on sleep before any long journey.

 

6. Wearing inappropriate footwear

This is a major issue that not many people seem to realise when driving in winter, as the wrong choice of footwear can restrict the driver’s ability. A lot of your communication with the vehicle is through the pedals, so if your boots become wet and slippery you are liable to make a mistake.

 

Solution: Bring an extra pair of footwear that hasn’t been exposed to the elements.

 

The unseen dangers when driving on ice

 

The weather has an influence on road safety. Depending on the conditions it can greatly affect the stability of your vehicle, as well as the driver’s behaviour while behind the wheel. The conditions can impact both crash rate and exposure to hazardous traffic, particularly when driving on ice.

Despite various measures being taken to prevent road accidents, such as road gritters, traction control in vehicles, and the introduction of slipperiness warning systems, it still poses a significant risk to your safety.

When the temperatures drop wet parts of the road surface will freeze quicker. Black ice, for instance, is a thin layer of ice which forms so quickly that the asphalt loses its friction. Roads that have just been laid will have a greater risk of slipperiness due to the fact they have yet to see regular wear and tear.

If you want to drive confidently this winter and would like a vehicle you can rely on, then get in touch with The Tilsun Group today! We can help with all your winter driving needs thanks to our incredible selection of car and van leasing deals.

As the UK’s premier car leasing company, you can rest assured that we only work with the best manufacturers around. All of our vehicles are given extensive safety checks to ensure they are ready for the road. The winter period can be a testing time for motorists, but you needn’t worry about the perils anymore with us.

If you’re interested in hearing our latest car leasing deals, simply contact a member of our team today on 01606 545 900 and we can keep you on the roads this winter.

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