Snow, ice, rain, darkness, wind and the blinding low sun; there’s little wonder that many drivers, no matter their level of experience, dislike driving in winter.
In Britain, more than half of motorway fatalities happen at night in rain, snow or ice, and it’s a similar story for fatalities in built-up areas. Driving too quickly for the conditions is a key factor in all winter accidents, and something most common amongst younger, more inexperienced drivers.
And did you know?:
- A European Commission report states that a typical young driver is most likely to crash between 8pm and 2am on a Friday or Saturday night, where darkness is a factor
- A European Road Safety Observatory report highlights inadequate planning is why most young drivers crash. It states a lack of all the required details or that the driver’s/rider’s ideas do not correspond to reality, are due to lack of experience
- A higher number of pedestrians across Europe dying in incidents with vehicles between October and March than at any other time of the year
Ford Europe's latest light-hearted animation can hopefully help remind drivers of any age of some winter driving hazards, with top tips below also worth keeping in mind before heading out this season.
- See and be seen: clean your windows, headlights and rear lights so you can see and those around you can see you, especially when you’re braking
- Slow down: lower your speed and give yourself lots of room to stop. When roads are snowy or slippery every second counts
- Don’t make a splash: if roads are flooded and you’re sizing up a large puddle go slowly through it and keep your revs high in a low gear. Once the other side test your brakes
- Use low gears: more traction can be had on snow or slippery roads when in lower gears. If stuck on ice then a higher gear may help you to get some initial movement
- Lighten up: a lighter and smoother touch on throttles, brakes and steering helps prevent the car from going out of your control
- Don’t panic: if you do begin to skid on ice, snow or wet roads, gently steer into it. So, if the rear of the car is skidding left, then steer left and avoid hard braking