Winter Woes: Stay Safe When Driving in January

The start of the year is never much fun. By the first week of January, the festivities already feel like forever ago- everyone is spent out, on a diet and the weather is miserable. Speaking of the weather, it’s one thing that can cause a real issue at this time of year, with high chances of snow and ice the roads can be a dangerous place to be. Here are a few things to consider for safe January driving.

Check the weather forecast

If the weather is going to be particularly bleak, it’s worth avoiding the roads altogether. With snow and ice in the road, there’s a high chance of your car slipping and sliding which can result in crashes or even fatalities. If someone crashes into you, a good auto accident attorney can help you to get the money you’re entitled to- but of course, prevention is better than cure. Stock up your home with essentials so that you don’t have to make trips to the shop if the roads are in a bad way. Speak to your boss about working from home if you’re unable to get into the office. More and more companies are seeing the benefits of this and so it’s worth asking. With slippery road surfaces and poor visibility it can often be an accident waiting to happen, on very bad days only get into your car if you absolutely have to.

Check your lights, wipers and fluids

With low visibility due to rain, fog and short daylight hours, you want to make sure your car can be seen on the roads. Having a bulb out, even one brake light can affect this and lead to an accident. Go around and check all of the lights on your vehicle, and look under the bonnet too. You’ll need wiper fluid to keep your windscreen clear, it can quickly get dirty with mud, rain and being splashed from bigger vehicles in traffic. Check to make sure that your wipers are fully functional and clear the screen properly when you put them on. It seems like a small thing, but this could be the difference between you being able to see properly when you’re on the road! When you’re on motorways and dual carriageways, it’s not always possible to just pull over and sort it. So check ahead of time.

Check your tires

Your tyres are your car’s only point of contact with the road, and so ensuring they’re in a good condition is essential all year round. But again, in January when the roads are almost always either wet or icy it’s more important than ever. You’ll need to make sure they’re inflated correctly since over or under inflated tyres can be extremely dangerous to drive on. You’ll also need to check that they have the right amount of tread on them, it’s illegal to drive with anything below 1.6mm and is an offense punishable by law. Use a pressure gauge and a tread gauge and do a quick check every few weeks, it takes a matter of minutes.

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