Winter driving tips

The human body isn’t built for speed. It’s fragile and cannot withstand the enormous force of a vehicle crash.

“That’s why driving to the conditions is so important – especially in the winter when roads are treacherous,” Road Safety Advisory Council Chair Jim Cox said today.

“Roads can be slippery, particularly when there’s light rain after a dry spell. And black ice is particularly hazardous. It’s easy to slide out of control.

“There have been many crashes in wet conditions, some of them fatal. People should drive to the conditions which means driving at a speed that feels safe that may be below the speed limit.”

Mr Cox urged drivers to allow more time for their journey and to make sure there was more than the usual distance between them and the vehicle in front to allow plenty of time to stop.

He said concentrating 100 percent on driving 100 percent of the time lessened the risk of crashing.

Every second a driver didn’t have their eyes on the road, distance was travelled.

“If you’re using your phone while driving and your speed is 40km/h, you’ll go 22.22 metres in just two seconds. That’s just under half the length of an Olympic swimming pool. It’s like driving with a blindfold on. You wouldn’t do it so you shouldn’t use your mobile. Don’t be a goose.

“It’s better to delay answering a call than to do so and crashing causing death or a serious injury that could change your life and that or your family and friends forever.”

Mr Cox said as well as driving to the conditions, drivers should have headlights on when visibility is poor and ensure their vehicle is in good condition. Windscreen wipers and blades, and demisters should be working well and tyres have the correct amount of air.

“Crashes are avoidable if we all use common sense. We all know the road rules. We just have to use them and together we can cut the toll of death and injury on our roads.”

Ten tips to keep you safe:

  1. Drive at a speed that feels safe and allows plenty of time to stop quickly and safely.
  2. Be aware the roads a slippery and could be like driving on ice and drive accordingly.
  3. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead – four seconds at least in poor conditions.
  4. Ensure your tyres are in good condition and are correctly inflated.
  5. Ensure your windscreen is clean the demister is working as it should.
  6. Ensure your windscreen and backscreen wiper blades are in good condition.
  7. Do not drive through water across the roadway; the road may be damaged underneath.
  8. Drive with headlights on when visibility is poor.
  9. Concentrate 100 percent on driving 100 percent of the time.
  10. Pay attention to road warning signs about hazardous conditions.

Winter driving tips