Estimated Time to Read: 2 minutes

Winter is a great time of the year to visit family and this winter many people will be loading up the car and heading to the houses of their aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. If you will be going on a drive this year, perhaps to visit family, it’s important to stay safe while on the road.

Driving during the winter season can be must more dangerous than other times of the year. The roads can be slippery with freshly fallen snow and the visibility can be poor. Here are some important tips to keep in mind which will ensure your safety when you are driving this winter:

  • Leave extra time. Keep in mind that a journey will take longer in the winter so make sure you aren’t leaving at the last minute. Rushing to your destination increases the likelihood of an accident.
  • Have a quick look at the weather forecast before you leave, including the weather in your destination. Use your GPS to plan the best route possible to avoid nasty weather and reduce your driving time as much as possible.
  • Before heading out in the cold, check that your vehicle has been properly serviced for winter. Your lights should be clean and working, your batter should be fully charged and you might even want to put on winter tyres. Don’t forget to also top up the anti-freeze.
  •  When it starts to storm or snow, stick to major roads whenever possible. These roads are more likely to have better lighting and clearer road markings and they are usually the first to be gritted during icy conditions. Sometimes the winding country back roads can get flooded or blocked with snow.
  • When driving in fog, switch your headlights to fog lights and lower your speed. This will help your visibility and give you more time to stop.
  • Remember that rain will cause the stopping distance of your car to increase, so don’t drive too close to the car in front of you.
  • You might be feeling merry at a Christmas or New Year’s Party and think you are fine to drive home, but drinking and driving is even more dangerous than usual when you factor in icy roads. If you intend to drive, abstain from alcohol completely. If you want to have a few seasonal cocktails, make sure you find a place to stay or call a cab.

Have a great holiday season and stay save while you are on the roads during the winter months.

Aside from equipping your car with winter tyres and wheels, here are a few more ways that you can stay safe while driving in the winter.