Staying Safe While Driving This Winter

Posted on: 3 December 2021 at 2:40 pm
Staying Safe While Driving

Safe Driving In Winter

Driving anywhere during winter can present challenges to even the most experienced drivers. It is important to ensure that you feel safe when driving on roads, no matter the season. Here at Got2Insure, we take road safety seriously and our experts have put together some winter driving safety tips for all types of weather. 

With UK weather being notoriously unpredictable, you never quite know what conditions you could be driving in. One minute it can be gloriously sunny and the next you are in the midst of a hail storm.

Safety tips for driving in the snow, ice and rain

When driving in conditions such as rain or snowfall you may find yourself facing poor visibility and an increased risk of skidding. Due to these adverse conditions, it is important to be vigilant during those sudden downpours or while driving on icy roads. 

  • Keep your lights on – This helps to improve your visibility in adverse weather conditions. We recommend even turning your lights on during the day, as it can allow you to see rain/snow better and help you avoid any dangerous situations.
  • Slow your speed – It is important to make sure you slow down when driving during these types of weather conditions as speed further increases risk. By slowing down you are giving yourself more time to make decisions, should anything happen.
  • Use your gears – If you are driving and notice that your steering starts to feel light or your tyres do not make much noise, there is a chance that you are driving on ice. It is important not to panic and to avoid quickly accelerating, as this can cause skidding. Instead, put your car in a higher gear and continue driving carefully, avoiding sudden braking and manoeuvring. 

Top Tip: If you notice your car starting to skid when driving on wet or icy roads, steer in the direction that you are skidding. The reason behind this is that when your wheels regain traction, you will not have to overcorrect your steering to continue driving.

Tips for driving in hail 

A sudden downpour of hail can be extremely loud and can affect your visibility.

  • Keep your distance – You need to leave at least double the gap you normally would between yourself and the vehicle in front. This is good general winter driving advice for any harsh conditions. When the roads are wet it is even more important to make sure you leave yourself ample stopping space. We recommend making your 2 second gap at least 4 seconds.
  • Take a break – If the hail falling is heavy or coming down in larger pieces, then it could cause damage to your bodywork or create cracks or chips in your windscreen. Driving can increase the risk of damage, so it could be wise to pull over somewhere safe and wait out the hailstorm. 

Tips for driving in fog

Driving in fog can be extremely tricky. Fog can appear quickly and severely impact visibility. As with the other weather conditions we have mentioned previously, it is important to keep a safe distance and speed when driving in fog. 

  • Use your lights – All cars are fitted with fog lights as standard. Using these lights can help to significantly improve your visibility and also help other drivers see you. Fog lights should be used when visibility is below 100 metres. If visibility is above this, we recommend using your normal lights.

Top tip: When visibility is low it is especially important to use all your senses and to concentrate on driving. Turn off your radio and drive with your windows down, this way you will also be able to hear other vehicles on the road that are close to you.

Winter driving safety tips 

So before you set off on your journey this winter, it is important to make sure you:

  • Stay alert 
  • Slow down before taking a turn or bend
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid skidding 
  • Avoid stopping too suddenly
  • Allow plenty of space between cars when driving
  • Avoid cruise control

Advice from Highway England on Safe Driving in Winter

Highway England Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips said that ““Gritters will be out treating our roads around the clock when ice or snow is forecast, but it is still important to drive to the conditions. Keep your distance and reduce your speed, because even in conditions that seem normal and where the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh grit has not been worked into the carriageway. Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a winter kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel.”

To find out more about Got2Insure or to speak to one of our experts today about a free quote, please get in touch