Refresh Your Safe Driving Technique This Winter
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We spend a lot of time in our cars, especially over the holidays as we travel to visit relatives. But how many of us have bothered to brush up on our technique since first passing our tests? Things are changing all the time on the roads, so refreshing your memory on best practice is massively helpful. It can also save you money, as a lot of safer driving techniques also use less fuel, making them good for you, your family and the planet. Safer drivers can also benefit from lower car insurance premiums, especially if you opt for ‘black box insurance’, which monitors your driving patterns using telematics software, installed via a GPS tracker or sometimes an app on your smartphone. It’s the same technology used by fleet management services for driver safety training, and can save you a lot of money. So, how do you make sure you’re driving safely this winter?
Stick To A Sensible Speed
Speed is one of the easiest factors for any driver to control, and it’s also the one that makes the most difference when trying to drive more safely and fuel-efficiently. Speed is named as the most common factor in fatal road accidents, so you must take care to alter the speed you do to take note of things like the road and the weather conditions. At this time of year, you’re more likely to be driving in challenging conditions such as heavy rain, sleet, storms or snow and ice, so really take a moment to adjust your speed down and if your vehicle has a speed limiter consider using that so you don’t accidentally creep up. It’s also a good idea to do a winter safety check on your car before setting off.
When we pay attention to anything other than the road ahead, we are compromising our focus and introducing danger into our ride. Although driving while talking on a handheld phone or while texting are now against the law in a lot of places, research suggests it’s just as dangerous – although not illegal – to take a hands-free telephone call on the road. It’s a better idea to switch your phone into flight mode while driving so that you can’t be distracted by incoming calls. If you have small children, backseat squabbling can also be dangerous, so make sure to pack plenty of activities, games or a movie for them to watch on a tablet – you can get car activity trays for kids or tablet holders to stop them dropping it.
Take Regular Breaks
If you have a long journey to make, you need to ensure that you factor in enough breaks along the way. Research shows that the tiredness levels of a driver following just a few hours of night-time journeying has the same effect as being over the drink-driving limit. If you’re sleepy, your reaction times suffer and your decision making is impaired. So make it a priority to stop and stay hydrated regularly throughout any long journey.
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