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Insurance Article

8 Tips for Driving in Dark Winter Conditions

January 02 2019
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Driving in winter can be tough with low visibility and slippery roads

Harsh climatic conditions and greasy roads in the winter season can test your driving skills, even if you’re a seasoned driver. Dark nights and foggy days will bring in poor visibility, and hence you need to be extra vigilant and cautious while driving in these circumstances. So, here are some winter driving tips that will be help you stay safe on the road and avoid the possibility of any mishaps while driving in tough conditions:

Keep your windows and the windshield clean

At this time of the year, expect to encounter fog, especially during the night and early morning commutes. It is therefore essential to keep your windows and the windshield clear of frost and ice to maximize your visibility while driving. Wipe them regularly using a good quality windscreen washer fluid to keep them clean and clear.

Check the condition of your tires and the tyre pressure

It is essential to keep your tires properly inflated and check them for adequate tread before taking your car out for driving in winter. Poor tyres will affect the grip of your car on the road, and the fog and snow will make it even more challenging to drive in the winter season. If you live in an area where snow is common, you can consider switching to winter tires with deeper treads. If the conditions are really poor, you can make use of snow socks or even snow chains.

Make sure all the lights are working properly

One of the main hazards of driving at this time of the year is that the sun sets in early and you will have to deal with the darkness for much longer. Even during the daytime, foggy conditions can affect the visibility to a great extent which means you need to be adequately equipped to handle the conditions.

Hence, make sure all your lights, including the main headlights, tail lights, fog lamps, and the indicators are working correctly to give you the best illumination and ensure that you’re clearly noticed by others on road to avoid any chances of a collision.

Check the battery condition of your car

Cold weather can sometimes make your car battery work harder. As a result, a battery that might work sufficiently during the summers could turn weak in the winter. The fluid inside the battery may also thicken up during the extreme cold temperature and hinder the conduction of electricity. The best way to avoid these situations is to check the battery voltage regularly and keep it fully charged before the onset of winter season.

Don’t use accelerator or brakes rapidly

During the winters, the roads may become slippery due to snow and foggy conditions. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining/maintaining traction on greasy roads and avoiding skids. Take time to slow down for a stoplight or if you observe a vehicle or an obstruction by applying brakes gradually. Remember, it takes longer to stop on icy roads due to the reduced grip between the road and the tyres.

Always maintain constant speed

It goes without saying that you should always be driving within the permissible speed limit, making sure that you’re in full control of the vehicle. Moreover, accelerating, decelerating or turning might become increasingly tough during the winter season. So, it becomes even more important to drive slowly and maintain constant speed so as not to confuse the drivers behind you while giving yourself enough time to manoeuvre in case you need to stop or take a turn.

Don’t blind others

While it’s important to use your lights to good effect to have clear visibility of the road, you should always be paying attention to the fact that it should not be blinding other drivers. If you’re forced to drive with full beam on rural roads during the night time, remember to dip your lights whenever you see another vehicle approaching towards you. And while you’re inside the city, always drive with a low beam.

Safe distance with other vehicles

Driving in winter can be tough and it’s even tougher to stop the vehicle immediately when you observe a hindrance. So, it’s always better to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles while driving in the dark during winters. This gives you added time to apply the brakes and halt gradually when you observe that the vehicle in front of you is stopping or slowing down.

While these tips will come in handy to drive safely during harsh winter conditions, it’s imperative to be prepared to tackle any unwanted scenario with an emergency kit in the boot of your car. Also, check your motor insurance policy and ensure that you’re covered against eventualities. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you have a break down or an accident and have no other option than to wait by the road side in a dark and gloomy winter night.

Related Article:

Top Tips to Take Care of Your Car During Winter
Productive Things to Do During Your Daily Commute

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