22 February 2016

Safe driving in freezing conditions

Winter please hurry up and go away!
The only thing good about winter is when it actually snows and I can go sledging.

I hate being cold, even though I spend most hours of my job outside working.
You would think my body would be used to it by now, by no, it isn't. 

I often have to wear a pair of long john's under my work pants, and you would think with my big beard I would be a little bit insulated, but no, none of this helps!

So when I'm not outside working I spend a lot of time in my work van driving up and down the country - I can spend 70% of a twelve hour working day driving, whether it be driving from job to job which are local to each other or it be driving a long distance, doing the job and then driving the same distance to get back home again.

But in the winter, driving is a lot harder than it is in the warmer seasons.
I've been driving for around 16 years now and driving in frozen conditions still scares the crap out of me, so with me being a quite experienced driver LV Insurance wanted to know what my driving tips for winter were.

I'm certainly that driver that everyone complains about when they are stuck behind me, I totally drive like a learner drive, but I don't care when they beep and when they get up my backside ranting and raving because I know I'm the one driving safely.

But being safe on the road isn't all about how you drive it's also about how you prepare for the journey and what precautions you take before setting off on your journey.

I normally set off at around 6am for work.
It's still dark out side and freezing cold, but before leaving the house I make sure I wake myself up and have a nice strong coffee or two.

My next job is to defrost my windscreen and I do this by letting my van warm up in it's own time, I'm not one for pouring warm water over it, I'm a scraper kind of a guy.

And I always make sure everything is fully defrosted before setting off including all the other windows and mirrors, we don't want to be driving down the road having to pop the head out of the side window like Ace Ventura...

It is illegal.

Also, before any journey it's a good idea to make sure the water jets are working properly and have plenty of anti freeze in and are full.

It doesn't take long before windscreens are filthy and with no working water jets it becomes a major hazard.

Also, always make sure there is a winter coat in the van just in case I break down and have to leave my vehicle.

So, like I said, I'm not the best at driving in the ice and snow, but it's part of my job so I have to do it.

I don't often panic about things but this really does bring me a lot of stress and I get even more stressed thinking about about my wife driving in horrible conditions and I make sure she always phones me to let me know that she's reached her destination OK.

Something else I've heard, from a lot of people actually, is that deflating your tyres a little helps as it makes the surface area a little wider offering more grip on the road...

I've never tried this though,  simply because knowing my luck I would take too much air out and would end up with a flat tyre so it's not something I'd recommend myself
(not tried or tested you see)

And so, my top tips for staying road safe are - 

1. Only take the journey if it is absolutely necessary.

2. Drive safely and don't be intimidated by the other drivers around you.

3. Make sure your car is winter ready and has had it's winter service.

4. Don't panic if you lose control of the car - easier said than done I know, but a very good time to point out that you can attend special skid pan driving courses which teach you the essentials of how to stay in control at all times. 

5. Make sure your tyres are road legal, if you're not sure, call in to a local garage and get them checked out, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Make sure you drive safe everyone.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, I would love to hear your winter driving tips in the comment section below and hopefully they will help me out a little bit.



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