Get winter ready

The time of year has already come where you may find your morning or evening commute disrupted by the glare of the sun shining in your face. Take this risk seriously as statistics in the USA estimate that the glare from the sun causes approximately 9 000 crashes a year and is the second most common environmental-related cause of crashes in the USA. Do not breathe a sigh of relief just yet, especially as we head into winter, as slick roads are the most common cause of crashes related to the environment. 

MasterDrive provides the following tips when it comes to driving during season change and in winter:

  • On misty mornings, do not switch your bright lights on as the beams will reflect off the mist. Rather use low-beams or fog lights.
  • Leave greater following distances.
  • On very cold mornings be prepared for frost. This will make the roads more slippery and require larger following distances, gentler braking and more caution when going around corners or around other hazards.
  • As dawn breaks later and dusk sets sooner, you can expect to drive more in changing light or even darkness. If you do not already automatically switch your headlights on as soon as you get in the car, take care to do so now.
  • To avoid the glare shining into your eyes, change your usual routine and routes. Leave earlier in the mornings or take alternative routes where the glare is not as bad.
  • Polarised sunglasses can also help with glare.
  • Keeping your windscreen clean can assist with this.
  • Avoid glare by raising your seat position so you are higher up.
  • Lower your visor before you leave so you are not blinded suddenly as you round a corner.
  • Do not use high-gloss vinyl cleaners on your dashboard.
  • Areas in South Africa which experience very low temperatures might have ice on the roads. Drive carefully through areas likely to be affected by ice, like under bridges. Also make a point to learn what to do if you start to lose control on ice.
  • Ensure your anti-freeze is adequately topped up and as winter comes to a close check that car parts such as windscreen wipers have not deteriorated.

Luckily, winter is short in the southern hemisphere but be prepared the driving changes that come with lower temperatures are inevitable. If you have not yet changed your driving to suit winter, do not waste any more time in doing so.

Read more MasterTips