Yes, we know it’s a bit of a snooze-fest, being told we have to drive carefully, but hello! It’s winter, the time of year that car insurance claims go through the roof as a result of stupid mistakes made in bad weather. In a bid to do our bit for making sure your next renewal quote is as low as can be (not that we don’t already help with that by simply existing and offering you the best car insurance deals around, obviously), we thought we’d refresh your memory with these handy winter driving tips.
- Leave yourself more time. We get it, life moves fast and there’s never enough hours in the day as it is, but if the weather is bad, make sure you give yourself extra time for your journey. You’d think it’s a no-brainer, but rushing about when there is snow and ice on the ground is a recipe for disaster. Even if you’re Mr or Mrs Last Minute, take a moment and consider that your very existence could be compromised with this foolishness.
- Clean your car thoroughly before you leave. We discussed this just the other week, but well say it again. If you don’t clean your windscreens (front and rear) and any snow off the roof of your car, you could invalidate your insurance and be fined a few grand for the pleasure. Be smart, not stupid.
- Try and drive in as high a gear as is practical. Yes, the racing drivers’ favourite, traction control. If you’re driving in a higher gear in winter conditions, you can help increase grip and reduce the chance of wheelspin if you need to brake suddenly.
- Leave more room to the car in front. A bit of a no-brainer, but obviously, when it’s really wet or there’s snow and ice to contend with, you need a bigger gap to the car in front, in case you need to brake suddenly.
- Brake gently to reduce the risk of spinning. (See above).
- If you do spin, stay off the brake. We imagine this is easier said than done, but the advice from the experts is to press down on the clutch and let the car spin, turning in the direction of the skid. When it returns to the direction of the traffic, try and recover by accelerating gently to try and get you moving forwards again.
- It’s a similar story if you aquaplane – stay off the brake, ease off on the accelerator and don’t make any sharp turns. Turn off any cruise control if you’re using it. Try and keep calm. Your car should recover and you can keep on going after saying a prayer that you’re still in one piece.
Maybe you read this rolling your eyes, but you know what? We don’t care, as long as you read it, because you never know, you just might need it one day.