How to Stay Safe on the Road: Defensive Winter Driving Tips to Avoid Accidents

If you drive a vehicle, how many times have you heard on the travel news that a road has been closed to allow the air ambulance to land? You might be even been stuck in the very queue of an accident where the casualty is being airlifted to hospital? That’s not surprising because more than half of all the incidents we attend are crashes on the region’s roads.

Although we hear a great deal about climate change these days, we hopefully won’t face quite such harsh Scandinavian conditions just yet in East Anglia.

Check your car and keep it well-maintained

The most important thing is to be prepared before the winter weather arrives. As the nights draw in and there’s a chill in the air put aside some time to check your vehicle.

Keeping your vehicle serviced and well maintained is high up the list of advice, along with ensuring the battery is fully charged and there is anti-freeze in the radiator. Check your lights, tyres, wipers, and windows.

Bring an emergency kit

Carrying an emergency pack in the boot is recommended, in case you run into adverse weather once you have started your journey. Along with an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch, blanket, warm clothes, boots and a first-aid kit are recommended. Your emergency equipment should include some food and drink, battery jump leads and a spade.

Practice defensive driving

In heavy rain, spray can make visibility as bad as fog, so slowing down and keeping your distance is just as important.

Think about what is going on inside the car in severe weather as well as outside. Don’t turn the car’s heating up too high when driving in winter. An excessively high interior temperature jeopardises the driver’s reaction times and increases the number of errors. A constant, comfortable temperature inside the car is an important safety factor. It is unhealthy and disorientating to have an extreme difference in inside and outside temperature.

Stay off the roads in severe weather if at all possible and only drive if the journey is absolutely necessary.

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