As the owner of an unreliable car and two small children, road safety is at the forefront of my mind. The winter weather has done nothing to aid my plight; first it’s raining with excessive winds, then it becomes really mild and pleasant, only to end up snowing or hailing!
So after a few hours of looking at how I can keep my family safe while I’m driving on the winter roads, I’ve decided to make a list for you lovely people too:
1. Wear flat, dry shoes.
You don’t have to ditch the heels completely, but I keep a pair of flats in my car to wear in order to gain better purchase. The dry part is important too, if your shoes are wet, they can slip off the pedals, meaning you can lose control of the car at a potentially crucial time. If you’ve got those little mats in your footwell, they are good to wipe your feet on. If you haven’t, they’re cheap enough to buy so you’d be wise to invest.
2. Make sure your vision is clear.
De-ice and de-mist your windscreen, never set off when there’s only a small area of clear view, it’s a recipe for danger. Get up earlier if you need to. Remember to keep your screenwash topped up too, all it takes is for you to pass a bus on a wet day and your vision is obliterated.
Make sure you’re wearing glasses if they’ve been prescribed for distance. This low winter sun can be a real hindrance too, so invest in a pair of sunglasses with polarised lenses for better clarity. Polarised lenses cut out glare, whereas a dark tinted lens lets less light through to your eye, effectively impairing your vision slightly, so you’ll get a better field of view if you go for the former.
3. Make sure you are visible.
Check your bulbs before you set off, broken lights reduce your visibility, putting you and your family in danger.
4. Check your tyres.
Ensure your tyres are the correct pressure and have enough tread (there should be a minimum of 3mm tread to be safe in winter). If they aren’t up to scratch, invest in some new ones. If you are thinking about buying some winter tyres or some all-season tyres, I recommend the Point S website for best range and quality. Icy roads cause skidding and tyres with the right pressure and tread might just save your life.
5. Top up your antifreeze.
Antifreeze stops your engine from freezing (and overheating). It’s a crucial ingredient for a healthy engine and will keep your car ticking over throughout the winter. You have to get your hands a little dirty and check under the bonnet to see if it needs replenishing, but I suggest that you do as it’s a very important part of safe winter driving.
Hopefully this list has educated other, once clueless, motorists (like I was). If anyone has any additional tips, pop them in the comments section, I look forward to reading them.