Winter Motoring in Belgium

sliding jeepDriving in the winter time can be dangerous, as well as a frightening prospect, especially if there is ice or snow on the roads.

 

As the season of winter arrives, so do the dark nights and bad weather and together they make driving conditions terrible for most of us. The added problems of ice and snow can make driving in winter simply unbearable. Unfortunately, we can’t let the bad driving conditions that come with the winter, stop us from getting behind the wheel and getting to work or wherever, we have to carry on! Whether you can bare driving in the winter or not, we often have no choice but to continue as normal, so how can you make the best of a bad situation?

Be prepared
If bad weather conditions occur during the winter, so do the number of traffic jams and road accidents. If you get stuck in a traffic jam that seems to be going nowhere, ensure that you have a supply of blankets, warm clothing, food and water to keep you going. Although you may not be involved in a road accident, you don’t want to risk getting hypothermia either, which can be caused from sitting in a cold vehicle in traffic. Make an emergency kit so that you are prepared for possibly sitting for hours in traffic, but at least with you will be safe and warm. Keeping warm is one of the most important factors for keeping safe in winter. It isn’t just you that you must think of in the winter, think about your vehicle too! If you pack an emergency kit for you, do the same for your car. Keep a shovel in the boot in case you have to dig the car out of the snow and some sand for the ice. You should also have an ice-scraper and windshield fluid in case your car windows freeze.

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Drive slowly
When there is snow and ice on the road, it is important that you drive slowly, even if you are in a hurry to get somewhere. Simply driving slowly sounds like a pretty obvious thing to do, but it is suprising how this point is forgotten when you are doing the school run or late for work in the mornings, and you’re thinking that risking driving a little quicker is better than risking losing your job. So remember to drive slower and don’t make any sudden turns. Depending on where you live, it may be the law to have your lights switched on during the winter months, which is a good idea anyway if there is fog about. Don’t make sudden turns or changes in your speed whilst driving and always indicate in plenty of time, to give other drivers plenty of notice. If you’re not sure about what speed you should be driving at when there is snow and ice about, a reccommended speed is half the number on the speed limit signs. So, if the normal speed limit on that road is 60 km/ph, in the snow that should be about 30 km/ph or sometimes less depending how comfortable you feel driving at that speed.

Don’t forget…
To avoid any serious problems, make sure that you always have enough fuel in the vehicle, so that you don’t have to worry about finding a gas station when you have ran out of fuel. Make sure that you de-ice the car before your journey and take your time when driving!!