Driving in severe wintry conditions can be both risky and frightening. The risks involved include skidding due to the slippery roads, blocked exhaust pipes by ice causing a build-up of carbon monoxide in the car with potentially deadly consequences, and running out of fuel due to getting caught up in the traffic. There is also reduced visibility which can result in rear-end collisions and the risk of getting lost on unknown routes. This can be avoided by using EyeRide E-log, which enables driver and fleet managers to communicate. The driver gets routing information while the vehicle can be tracked, among other great benefits.
It is advisable to avoid the roads unless it is very necessary to go out in severe weather. However, if you must go out, the following tips can be useful to keep you safe:
Ensure you are well prepared before you leave
Clear any ice off your car, especially windows, mirrors and windscreen to make sure you can see clearly. Any ice on your car roof may also slide off and interfere with your vision while in the car, so clear that too. Take with you a screen-scraper and de-icer. Ensure your fuel tank has enough fuel and your battery is in good working condition. Check your windscreen wiper blades and replace them if need be. Have your phone with you and make sure it is sufficiently charged in case you may need to communicate. Check your headlights and tail-lights to be sure they are in proper working condition and clear any snow off your lights. Check your tires to ensure they are well-inflated and they have proper treads depth – not less than 3mm. If necessary, replace the tires, including the spare wheel. You need to be conversant with how your car heater works, so that you can clear any mist on the inside of the windows, beside helping you keep warm. Have enough supplies – some extra warm clothes, appropriate footwear in case you need to get out of your car, food and drink, a first aid kit, and other necessities.
While on the road, move gently, keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. Avoid a lot of steering, harsh braking and accelerating. If you must accelerate, do so gradually. While going uphill, get some momentum beforehand and let it move you to the top. Hitting the gas pedal should be avoided to avert possible wheel-spinning. When you get to the top, go downhill slowly. Choose a low gear when descending, especially if the road has bends. In case your car skids, steer in the direction you intend to go and do not pump the gas pedal. Have your radio volume low so you could hear an early warning if you hit a slippery patch where your car could skid, in which case you should get your foot off the accelerator, letting the speed drop on its own until you gain back control.
Use your headlights and choose the correct lights
Once snowfall begins, you must turn your headlights on and do not assume they are on because your dials have lightened up as some cars can have them on while headlights are off. Ensure your lights switch is set in the dipped beam setting so that your vision is enhanced and other drivers see you early enough.
Avoid fog lights unless the visibility is very poor. Rear fog lights will have a dazzling effect on other road users, while the front one has the same effect on the car in front of you, more so when the snow on the road is reflecting the light back up at them.
Be aware of your surroundings
Approach corners at low speeds, giving yourself enough time before you get there. Go around it gently and at a constant speed. This will avoid unsettling the car and allows you to deal with obstructions like a fallen branch or a slow-moving snowplough. With many slow vehicles on snowy roads, such as snowploughs and gritting lorries, extra awareness of your surroundings is necessary. Furthermore, your need to be on the lookout for possible skidding cars coming from unexpected directions, which is why you need to be vigilant at all times. Avoid reacting to any car following you closely but if need be give them the way if you can to avoid a possible rear-end crash.