Why Many Motorists Stop Driving in Winter
A recent survey carried out by Zego Insurance has discovered that the winter months are a ‘no go’ period for many British drivers. 1 in 5 of the 2,000 drivers asked said that their fear of driving in winter was to do with icy roads and reduced visibility. 32% gave said limited daylight was their reason for avoiding getting behind the wheel.
Winter Phobia and Fears
The fears people experience around winter driving are very real, and they link to a range of winter phobias. People who suffer from chionophobia feel anxious at the thought of extreme cold, being stuck in the snow, and being stranded with no way to get back home.
79% of people asked, as part of the survey, said that witnessing winter road accidents in bad weather had given them a fear of driving in winter. There is always the additional concern that drivers with Christmas shopping and planning on their mind are less attentive to what’s going on around them.
Preparing to Drive in the Winter
One of the best ways to stay safe in winter conditions is to be fully prepared for what the weather might throw at you. If you can’t avoid driving when snow or ice is forecast, there are a number of precautions you can take:
- Before you start your journey, clear the snow from all your car windows and check that your windscreen wipers are working. They may be iced up, in which case you’ll need to warm your windscreen, and maybe pour warm water over the wipers themselves.
- Stick to main roads as much as possible, as it’s the secondary road where you are most likely to get stuck. If you live near to, but not on a main road, it’s worth parking safely and trudging back, rather than trying to drive to your front door.
- Check you have plenty of fuel for your journey; snow and ice tend to slow traffic down in which case you won’t want the distraction of looking for somewhere to fill up. It’s also worth having some cash on you, just in case.
- Keep boots and warm clothes in the car. If you do need to walk through the snow, or even if you find yourself sat in a stationary car for a while, having an extra layer of clothes to put on will be helpful against the cold.
Driving on Snow That Has Settled
The most important precaution to take if you’re driving on snow is to go very slowly. This allows your tyres to achieve their maximum grip which reduces the risk of skidding or losing control of the car. Keep your distance from any other cars on the road, stay in a low gear and, if you need to turn a corner, do so in slow motion.
Driving on Icy Roads
A fear of driving in winter can be brought about by suddenly finding yourself the victim of black ice. It’s caused by rain having fallen on an already frozen surface, and it’s invisible. So, drivers may find themselves skidding with no idea what’s causing the problem. If you find yourself in this situation, there are 4 things to bear in mind:
- Resist the urge to brake – it will make the skid more acute.
- Remove your foot from the accelerator and keep your steering steady and straight.
- If you need to right your steering, do so slowly.
- Stay calm, and brake very gently in order to slow the car down and bring it to a stop.
About Country Vehicles in Shefford
We’re an established, independent garage providing local garage services for Shefford and South Bedfordshire. Our friendly team offers vehicle servicing, MOTs, repairs, diagnostics and tyre maintenance, sales, and fitting. If you have worries about the condition of your tyres or brake pads as we head into the cold weather, our friendly team will be happy to take a look for you.
If you would like to book in a vehicle service or repairs with Country Vehicle in Shefford, call us on 01234 381555, contact us online, or simply call in.