Progress News

Safety: Even More Winter Driving Tips

Posted in: Progress News

We continue our winter safety campaign with some more winter-driving safety tips. If you missed our first edition, see here:

As most of you are no doubt aware, winter has arrived. Wind, rain, sleet, ice and snow are all problematic for people who are trying to drive safely. Learning to drive in these conditions can also be very challenging. However, it’s also a good way to face these conditions and come out the other side for the first time - so when you are faced with any of these inevitable conditions on the road this winter, there is no doubt that driving in winter will require you to be safe and to plan ahead - so hopefully these extra tips will help you. 

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control can be a very useful feature in a vehicle. It helps you to maintain a constant speed without having to worry about manual adjustment. However, this is not recommended for trips on dangerous terrain like ice and snow. You need to be in full control of your car at all times because if you need to make a sudden stop or acceleration, you can’t afford to spend time disabling the cruise control before you can do anything.

Avoid Quick Sharp Stops

A sharp stop is something that we do without thinking about - especially at traffic lights and other places. However, being fully conscious of your brakes and how the car is coming to a stop in icy or snowy conditions can mean the difference between stopping safely and not stopping at all. Further, the amount of inertia which you will experience from moving away from a full stop will be vastly different from starting by moving gently when setting off. Where possible, you are going to want to make sure that you avoid quick stops and keep speed consistently slow during hazardous conditions.

Don’t Speed up Hills

Another automatic experience which we often don’t think about is accelerating when we are going up hills. The obvious urge is to apply more power to the vehicle as you are going to move up the hill so you don’t lose your momentum.
Instead, what you are going to want to do is to make sure that you don’t speed up the hill. What this will do is make the wheels spin out of control. It’s better to build up a little bit of speed and then let that take you up the hill. Once your wheels start going into wheelspin, it can become close to impossible to get up the hill otherwise.

Really Consider Travel

One of the most important safety tips is actually to just stop and think about whether it is safe to travel at all. The worse the weather is, the more danger you put yourself in by venturing out in it. It is better to simply stay at home in some situations. This will vary according to your needs, but there’s no doubt it’ll be safer in the long run. 
Travelling in a vehicle in bad weather isn’t necessarily easy. When all is said and done, you need to focus on making sure that you are safe. Driving in a sensible manner and understanding how the vehicle performs is a good tactic for being safe. You just have to make sure that you think about what you want to do and approach hills and traffic lights with caution. While nothing in life is guaranteed safe, you can gain a level of experience in whatever you do which will help you to feel more comfortable both behind the wheel and in all approaches to life.

Do you need additional help, support or refreshers?

Our experienced driving instructors offer refresher courses to those who haven't driven in a while or who haven't driven in certain conditions. If you would like more information on this, please contact us at any time.

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