Tag Archives: safety advice

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Winter Driving: Stay Safe in Icy Weather

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Driving during the winter months is always going to be a more difficult task. The lack of friction on the roads due to black ice and the reduced visibility caused by heavy snowfall are just two of the dangers that you may encounter during this time. When the conditions get very bad, you should only drive if it is absolutely necessary, but if you do decide to venture out onto the roads, here is some helpful advice to keep you safe.

Prepare Before You Leave

The first part of safe winter driving happens before you have even left the house. Pack some supplies to keep in the car including some food and water, warm clothing, a first aid kit, a portable phone charger, a torch, jump leads, an ice scraper and some grit. Plan your route carefully beforehand so that you are less likely to get lost and try to stick to main roads which are more likely to have been gritted. Do all the proper checks beforehand including your oil, car fluids, and tyre pressures. Clear the ice from the whole of your windscreen and windows before you leave so that you have maximum visibility.

Pick the Correct Lights

You shouldn’t use your fog lights unless the visibility is extremely poor as this could dazzle other road users – particularly if there is a lot of snow on the ground. Don’t use your full beam headlights any more than you normally would. However, you should use the dipped beam headlights when it is snowing to help drivers to spot you when you are out on the roads.

Keep Your Distance

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Stopping distances increase significantly during the icy weather so you should leave more space than you normally would. It can take as much as ten times as long to stop on an icy road, so increase the distance between you and the car in front appropriately. A good rule of thumb to follow is to be around 20 seconds from the car in front of you if the road is icy. If you are unlucky enough to get into an accident, you should look to contact an auto accident attorney. But if you keep your distance you will decrease the odds of the crash being serious.

Drive Smoothly and Gently

Your use of all of the car controls including steering, throttle and brake should be as smooth and slow as possible. Keep the engine revs at a minimum by changing gear early as you accelerate and late as you decelerate. Try to avoid and harsh steering or other manoeuvres that could cause the car to skid.

Deal with Skidding

Sometimes, skidding is inevitable no matter how much you try to stop it. Listen out for the sounds that the road is making – if you are driving on a patch of ice, the tyre noise is likely to suddenly go quiet. If you feel yourself start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, avoid using the brakes and steer in the direction of the skid.  

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As A First Time Driver, Safety Should Be Your Top Priority

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As a first time driver, the odds are already against you. Statistics don’t lie, and an overwhelming number of first-time drivers will be involved in a car accident within their first year on the road. This is one of the reasons why insurance premiums for first-time drivers are so high. A crash isn’t a possibility. It’s almost inevitable at this point. That’s the bad news. The good news is that as a first-time driver, there are ways to limit your chances of adding to that stat. Here are some of our best tips for staying safe on the road in your first year as a driver.

Do Some Extra Research

You might want to start by completing a little more research into driving and, staying safe on the roads. You might think that after you pass your driving test, your work is done. You can relax, knowing that you are a qualified driver. On the contrary, your work is just beginning. You may want to go here to have a look at a complete intro for safe driving after you pass your test. It’s more than just sticking to the rules of the road. You need to think about stopping distance, hazard awareness and responsible driving techniques. There’s a lot more than the basics to get to grips with.

Take An Advanced Driving Course

Once you have passed your chance, you may have the opportunity to take an advanced driving course or something similar. An advanced driving course will give you a more in-depth knowledge of the roads. It will help you  to understand how to deal with more, you guessed it, advanced situations. These courses tend only to last a day if that. Passing is usually just a matter of proving that you have absorbed this information. There are more advantages here than just a safer time on the road. If you take an advanced driving course, you’ll find it easier to get a driving related job. You will also discover that your insurance rates are a lot lower.

Choose A Safe Car

When you buy your first car, you’ve probably got two things on your mind. Horsepower and speed. Safety isn’t typically a top priority for new drivers, but perhaps it should be. Remember, that statistic we talked about when you purchase your first vehicle. Don’t let the fact that you passed your test first time go to your head. Choose a vehicle with a little less power that’s a lot easier to handle.

Always Look Ahead

Finally, this is a basic piece of advice but one that you should take on board. Most accidents can be avoided with a little forward thinking. You always need to be looking ahead while driving. Don’t just think about the first car in front of you. You need to keep an eye on the car four vehicles ahead. If you spot that it’s braking early, you could save yourself from an expensive accident.

Good luck with your first year on the road. Remember to stay safe while you’re having fun.

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