Winter Driving – What do you need to know?

With winter just around the corner, the daily commute for drivers is about to get much more hazardous. Winter driving conditions command a lot more skill and caution – here are the most important things to be aware of when driving in the winter.

Wind – With winter comes winter storms, and as the recent storm Calum has shown us, strong winds can wreak havoc on the roads. Be aware that windy weather can lead to standing water on the roads, especially when accompanied by heavy rain as it often can be. Keep listening to the news as trees can be blown down blocking roads, so you may need to alter your route. In windy weather take care to drive more slowly than usual – cars can handle differently in high winds and strong gusts of wind can catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared for them. Be aware that more exposed stretches of the road will leave you more susceptible to these strong gusts of wind.

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Snow and Ice – Snow and ice can make driving dangerous and unpredictable so it is extremely important to be cautious in these conditions. If there is heavy snowfall, listen to travel advice in your area and take it! Often the police will advise only to travel if it is absolutely necessary. Ensure that your car is in good working order as these conditions can be deadly if you have problems with your car – get it checked over by a professional such as Gloucester car service company  to make sure that you don’t have any hidden problems with the car. When travelling in the snow, it is important to ensure that before you set off on your journey you are prepared for the worst – take blankets, plenty of water, snacks and a fully charged mobile phone with you so if you are stuck somewhere you can call for help and be comfortable whilst you are waiting.

Poor Visibility – The Winter driving conditions are also more dangerous because visibility is often much worse. The mornings and evenings when the sun is low in the sky can result in drivers being dazzled and not being able to see approaching hazards that they would normally. Take care in these conditions and if you feel that you cannot drive safely, pull over in a safe place until you can. Unfortunately, the low sun coincides with morning and evening rush hour, so more accidents do occur at these times because of it. Rain can also cause poor visibility especially when it becomes very heavy. If you are struggling to see, do find a safe place to wait until conditions have improved. The rain also adds more risk as the road becomes wet, which, when combined with poor visibility can be very dangerous.

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