07 Oct 2015

How to Change Your Driving Style for Winter

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The number of road accidents tends to go up during winter. This is because some drivers are overconfident in their driving abilities in snowy conditions while others are totally unprepared for it. Whether you are an accomplished driver or one who has just cleared driving courses, you must change your driving style during these cold months. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Get Your Car Properly Equipped

Before you leave for a snowy trip, there are basic checks that you must carry out during winter to ensure that you are leaving your home with a properly equipped car. Ensure that you have enough antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Another important check should be directed to the tires. They must have the right pressure. You also need to equip your car with a flashlight, extra batteries, warm clothes and a first aid kit.

Avoid Tailgating

Tailgating is one of the leading causes of accidents in winter, especially in stop-and-go traffic. The driver in front is probably driving slowly because he knows the roads are slippery and thus can stop when he needs to. To avoid accidents, exercise a lot of patience and stay well behind and only overtake when it is safe to do so. Remember, that your car will also take longer to come to a stop under these conditions hence the need to keep your distance.

Slow Down

All the driving courses you have attended have certainly told you to drive slowly and smoothly in winter. Whether you have an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can never do 100 KPH safely under a snowstorm. You should also avoid sudden acceleration or braking because the car can easily lose traction. Therefore, before you leave the house, accept that you will have to spend more time on the road to reach your destination.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control prevents leg fatigue, but it is a recipe for disaster during winter. With cruise control on, your car can spin the wheels when attempting to maintain a constant speed. This could be very dangerous.

Winter is mainly the time when you should stay at home but if you must drive, exercise the following guidelines for your safety.

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