Yep – it’s that time of year again where Winter has crept up on us. We’ve been lucky having so many mild days but jeepers – this last week has hit us like a freight train! In saying that, driving in Winter can be fun – but can be fraught with danger. But let’s also remember, visibility is reduced which can bring many different and sometimes scary scenarios.
That thing called dusk – before the Sun disappears.
Did you know as the Sun starts to go down around 4.30-5pm in Winter visibility reduces at a much quicker rate than in Summer? Therefore, making pedestrians harder to see, as well as animals. This is why it’s important to scan ahead, as well as being alert to your peripheral vision to ensure you can see what’s going on around you as well as what’s just in front. Whilst dusk can be a pretty time of the day, remember it can also be one of the most dangerous.
Driving with low beam lights on.
Did you know that with reduced visibility it is important to ensure other road users and pedestrians can see you coming no matter the time of day? This is where driving with low beams on can make all that difference. I’ve actually been horrified to notice how many people are driving around forgetting to put their lights on as the visibility gets worse, or haven’t bothered to check if both headlights in fact even work!
Simple checks to make the drive safer.
One simple method to ensure your drive is always safe is to regularly check all your lights are working on your car. Ask a friend to check your brake lights when you get the chance. It can be incredibly dangerous if cars behind you can’t see you slowing down. Make it a weekly check. Say, every Sunday before the working week, turn all your lights and indicators on – have a walk around to see if they’re working. If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, you can test your brakes and indicator lights as they’ll light up the walls around you. This includes checking your hazard lights regularly. The last thing you want is to be broken down and not take the necessary precautions.
A clean car is a safer car.
You’re probably wondering why a clean car can make for a safer commute? The simple answer is you’ve been away for the weekend camping and your car is covered in dirt and mud. If your headlights or taillights are covered in this type of dirt, this reduces your chances of other road users seeing your lights at all. I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it before. It takes two minutes to keep an old rag in the back of the car to clean off the debris to ensure your drive is safer. Secondly, make sure your windscreen wiper bottle is always full to clear any dirt from your windscreen. There’s nothing worse when the windscreen is covered in dirt and alike and visibility is reduced.
What about the fun bit?
Whilst all of the above seems like a preaching session, it’s most definitely not that. It’s all about safety and ensuring our drives are safe and comfortable.
The fun bit is about being warm, safe, and being able to listen to your own music on the radio or MP3 whilst getting home from school, uni or work. Who wants to be relying on public transport in two-degree temperatures whilst it’s raining? Yes, sometimes public transport is a necessity, but wouldn’t it be nice to drive yourself to the station rather than sit and freeze waiting for the bus? Wouldn’t it be nice to get yourself around on weekends rather than be stuck at home?
So driving in Winter can be fun, just a little more challenging!
Driving lessons are expensive.
Yes, driving lessons can be expensive. But, it costs under $50 to sit your learners test and pay for your learners permit. That’s a great start to me. Your first lesson is free. All you have to do is book a keys 2 drive lesson and bring along a supervising driver which will help you both get started. The learner test can be practised on the Vic Roads website so you don’t even need to purchase the learner book. There are plenty of ways to get started. But most of all, take that first step. At the very worst, you’ll have photo ID which helps when you turn 18.
Until next time,