The upcoming wintry months introduce colder, darker nights and unfortunately, even more risks when driving. Whether you'll be out on your motorcycle or driving around in your car or any other automobile for that matter, making sure you're visible to other drivers and pedestrians is a must. Besides, it could save your life.
You need to take into account how particular weather conditions may affect your visibility, especially as each night is getting darker and darker with an increase of fog, mist and heavy rain.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when driving a vehicle:
- Before heading out, check that all of your headlights are in full working order. Also make sure that every headlight is clean because dirt will reduce the effectiveness of your headlights.
- Make sure that your brake lights are in full working order; if they're broken then the car behind will fail to see when you are braking.
- You must always use your headlights in foggy, misty or dark conditions where you feel your visibility may be reduced - after all, they're designed to make you visible to others and to improve your vision of the roads.
- If it's a foggy day then keep a safe distance away from the car in front (about three seconds). Always drive slowly and carefully in fog. Make sure your fog lights are on and use low beams.
When riding a motorcycle or bicycle
- As previously expressed, checking that all of your lights are in full working order is a must.
- Wear the appropriate clothing - luminous jackets are a lifesaver. Remember to wear your safety gear and to wrap up warm. Thermals are the best investment for the winter months as they will keep you warm and protect various body parts from getting wet or sodden!
Your vision matters
Although it's important to make sure you're noticed on the road, it's just as important to make sure that your vision isn't obstructed in any way. Before heading out on a morning, make sure you carry out these little life-saving procedures...
For all vehicles:
- Make sure all windows are fully clean and clear of snow. Although this is something we all dread waking up to, it's a necessity during the winter and a lifesaver. Clear every fragment of frost off each window so that you can see out of each window perfectly fine. And no, don't clear one little circle of snow away so it acts like a little peephole - if your windows are obstructed then so is your vision and you will also be faced with a pretty large fine.
- Clear any fragments of snow from the top of your vehicle. The excess snow can fall onto your windscreen when braking, causing yet another obstruction. Large pieces of snow can obstruct your vision entirely which can cause a real nasty accident.
- Leave a spare pair of sunnies in the glove box. Although this sounds like an odd request, sometimes the dazzle of the sun (when it appears) can affect your vision of the road, especially when it's setting on an evening.
- Scrub away any windscreen smears with screen wash. If they don't budge then use a glass polish and wipe away.
- If your windows become a little misty then turn on the air conditioning. Don't put up with windows that aren't fully clear.