Tag Archive: Driving Tips

  1. Winter Driving Tips

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    Every year, as if like clockwork, the UK goes from 20°C degrees down to 3°C in the space of no more than a few days. The clocks go back and the evenings get darker, as we prepare ourselves for the bitter weather that’s heading our way.

    Whether you’ve been driving for 10 years or 10 weeks, you’re sure to have experienced heading down a British motorway in the middle of a hail storm – gale force winds and pitch-black horizons blanketing the roads, it’s pretty intense and so it’s best to be prepared for it. Driving in winter is tough, we have compiled the winter driving laws to be aware of, and now we’ve taken the time to explore the relevant checks you should take on your vehicle and gathered a few tips on navigating the colder, more extreme climates winter has to offer.  

    You can support friends/family/passengers during treacherous driving conditions with our temporary car or van insurance by sharing drives between you. And if you are a learner, bravely practising driving in winter, browse our temporary learner driver insurance, instead.

    Your comprehensive guide to safe winter driving awaits…

    How to Drive Safely in Winter

    As the frost of winter settles in, it’s time to revamp your driving game and equip yourself with some of our essential winter driving tips to conquer the icy roads like a pro. With snow, ice, and intense winds posing as persistent companions on your journey, ensuring your safety and securing your vehicle’s functionality is more than a necessity!

    You might not quite be an ice road trucker, but the threats are still real even on main roads during the colder months.

    Potential Driving Risks to Be Aware of in Winter

    As winter tightens its icy grip, the onslaught of strong winds adds another layer of complexity to the already challenging driving conditions. Gusts of wind can buffet vehicles, especially those with high profiles, leading to unpredictable swaying and reduced stability on the road. 

    Sudden gusts can catch drivers off guard, creating a hazardous situation that demands swift, skilful manoeuvring. Navigating through open spaces, such as bridges and exposed highways, becomes a precarious task, with wind gusts threatening to push vehicles off course, amplifying the need for a steady hand and a vigilant eye on the road.

    But what about driving on the treacherous ice? From adjusting your speed to allowing for 

    longer braking distances and steering gently to maintain control, mastering the skill of, preferably avoiding, driving on ice can transform your winter driving experience from daunting to delightful. 

    And here’s the cherry on top – with our temporary car insurance policies, you can hit the frost-laden roads with the assurance that your journey is fully covered with our comprehensive insurance, even when you’re braving the most challenging winter conditions. And if you are borrowing someone’s car, you and the owner can have peace of mind that their no claims discount will be protected too

    Car Checks to Carry Out in Winter

    Checking your car during the winter is imperative as the dangers can be very real. From examining your tires’ traction for optimum grip when driving in snow and ice to ensuring your brakes are sharp in case you need to avoid aquaplaning, a comprehensive winter car check is how you can best tackle the winter weather with the same confidence you had in the summer.

    It is recommended that you carry out the following checks to help avoid skidding, poor vision, breaking down or the worst case scenario – crashing.

    • Check tyre tread depth –  Also ensure they’re not overly worn for maximum grip and traction, skidding looks cool on Tokyo Drift, but you don’t want to experience that in your Corsa.
    • Check battery health –  It is vital to have a properly functioning battery when it’s cold, a dead battery means you’ll be stuck at standstill for a while. Make sure you carry jump leads and replace the battery if you find it gets low when idle, otherwise, you may as well have the AA on speed dial.
    • Use antifreeze –  It is a must-have, it’s imperative you do not set off until you have a full field of view above your dash.
    • Check Lights – They must be working to their full capacity so you can see on even the darkest nights. Winter means dark roads – don’t get caught out by the early afternoon sunsets!
    • Check Insurance –  Insurance is something you need every time you get in a car. The winter weather can be a significant cause of incidents, so getting extra protection could help! We always only offer high level protection temporary insurance, whether it’s daily insurance or hourly cover. If you are borrowing someones car, it is especially important to check you are covered to drive their car. 
    • Have a toolkit / breakdown kit – it’s wise to always have one to hand, whether you need to fix something or need blankets and torches if you have broken down. 

    Can’t wait to see the back of winter? We hear you. Thankfully we’ve got you covered come rain or shine, so be sure to browse our hot weather driving hacks ahead of summer, too. 

    Driving Tips for Safe Winter Driving

    Equipping yourself with essential winter driving safety tips, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, using gentle manoeuvres to navigate icy patches, and avoiding sudden braking on snow-covered roads, can be your ultimate toolkit for conquering the frost and ice.

    It’s good to check weather forecasts, as inaccurate as they may be sometimes! If a big storm is due during a cross-country drive, it’s useful to know so you’re able to adequately prepare. 

    Checking tyres are at their appropriate pressures when navigating what might feel like the snowy mountains of Narnia can help avoid any nasty skidding or aquaplaning, too. 

    It’s also often helpful when taking on winding country lanes to sound your horn and flash your lights to alert oncomers of your presence, be sure to take corners sensibly – in this case, slow and steady really does win the race.

    With all of these tips and checks in mind, you should be ready to take on Britain’s winter roads with full confidence.

    Utilising temporary insurance means you’re able to split longer drives with those onboard with total ease. 
    Lengthy winter drives through intense weather can be draining for the driver no matter how experienced – concentration will be at an all-time high as you navigate the unknown through the dark. So use temporary cover to share your next long winter driver, it can be safer for everyone on board. Get a quote today.

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  2. What To Do if You’re Involved in a Car Park Accident

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    Car park accidents are an all too common occurrence. With so many vehicles in one space, it can be easy to accidentally hit something while running for your weekly shop. 

    Whether you’re a learner or a seasoned motorist, you need to ensure that your vehicle is covered, be that with an annual policy, or temporary car insurance. Many drivers are unaware of car park accident law, leaving them unprepared to handle an incident. And there’s nothing worse than returning to see your car has been hit in a car park and no note has been left.

    How to Avoid an Accident in a Car Park

    Car parks are often busy and cramped, which is why they can be a hotbed for prangs. Avoiding a car park accident is crucial when it comes to keeping your premiums low and protecting your no-claims discount, which is why we’ve pulled together some helpful tips to protect you and your car from damage, wherever you may be.

    Keep Your Speed Low

    We get it, you’re in a rush and spaces seem few and far between. But car park speed limits are low for a reason. It only takes a second for a car to pull out from a spot, leaving you with a heap of damage.

    Busy car parks mean a lot of pedestrians moving in and around vehicles. It’s best to avoid speeding around corners so you have plenty of time to check that it’s safe. Getting in and out of vehicles can also cause damage. So before you swing your car door open it’s a good idea to check that there are no obstacles nearby.

    Check Your Surroundings

    With so many hazards, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re chatting to passengers or blasting your favourite songs, make sure you stay alert. Many car parks are extremely tight on space, with bays crammed together – don’t allow yourself to get distracted. 

    Park Strategically

    If possible, try to park away from any potential hazards. This isn’t always possible, but keeping a safe distance from other cars can limit the chance of you having a bump. Try to park where there are open spaces on either side to avoid the chance of you hitting another car or van.

    Even if the car park is close to full, there are still options you can consider. If a space is tight, it may be best to look elsewhere. Spaces with two large cars on either side could lead to banged-up doors, so best to find a spot better suited for your vehicle. 

    Who Is At Fault In a Car Park Accident?

    There’s one question that everyone asks following an accident in a car park – ‘who is at fault?’ The answer isn’t always straightforward. So before passing judgement, it’s best to calmly assess the situation to avoid a dispute. Generally, if a car is moving and another is stationary, it’d be assumed that the vehicle in motion is at fault. This, however, isn’t a hard-and-fast rule and every incident is different.

    When a Car Hits a Pedestrian

    Pedestrians are just as at risk of being injured in car park accidents. While the driver is usually held at fault, pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. Insurers will always consider which party is breaking the law or acting carelessly when assessing a case.

    Examples of negligence on either side include – the driver speeding or using their phone whilst driving. Or, the pedestrian not paying attention to their surroundings or running out in front of a car.

    Even if a driver is travelling at the speed limit, they may still be at fault. Drivers are expected to constantly be aware of their surroundings, so if they’re not paying attention to potential hazards, they can be liable.

    When One Car Is Parked

    Hitting a parked car is the fault of the driver in the moving vehicle.

    Whether they’ve rear-ended a vehicle, clipped a wing mirror or hit a car door while getting out, it’s fairly clear who is to blame in this scenario.

    When Both Cars Are Moving

    With so many cars moving in and out of a small area it’s no wonder that accidents in car parks are so frequent. If both cars are moving, then both may be to blame. However, the driver backing out is usually the one responsible as cars driving in the main lanes tend to have the right of way. 

    If two cars collide while heading for the same spot, then they may both be liable. But as the driver on the left has the right of way, the car turning into traffic will likely be seen as being at fault.

    What Should You Do Following a Car Park Accident?

    There are a few steps that you are legally required to take following a traffic collision, regardless of where it takes place.

    Here are the steps you need to follow immediately after a collision:

    • Stop at the scene: Regardless of who is at fault, it is a legal requirement to stop at the scene. Not doing so is an offence and you could be charged.
    • Switch off your engine and turn on hazard lights: This is for the safety of the drivers, passengers and other road users.
    • Check for damages: This includes damages to the car as well as injuries to you, other parties, and road users.

    What Details Should I Exchange Following An Accident?

    It’s very important to exchange details following an accident. This can help you to stay in touch with the other party throughout the claims process. All parties are legally required to share their name and address but you may also choose to exchange insurance information.

    It’s important to find out whether the other driver is the registered owner of the vehicle. If they’re not, then find out who the owner is and try to get that information too. Keep a note of the make, model, colour and number plate of the vehicle involved or take pictures for reference. If a lorry is involved try to record the number on both the lorry and its trailer, as well as the name of the company it operates for.

    What Else Should You Record At The Accident Scene?

    Accidents in a car park are usually quite minor, but it’s a good idea to make note of any important details of the event. Making note of a few key things can help with the ongoing investigation and speed up the claims process. 

    You should note:

    • The time and date of the crash.
    • The driving conditions at the time, including the weather, lighting and road surface (for example if it was muddy or uneven terrain).
    • The level of damage to the vehicle and where it was located.
    • Any injuries to either the driver, passengers or pedestrians.
    • The contact details of any witnesses.
    • If possible, try to take pictures of the scene, including the positions of the cars and the extent of the damage.

    What To Do When a Driver Doesn’t Leave a Note

    It’s a legal requirement to leave details following an accident. Fail to do so and you could face legal action. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and many drivers have returned to their parked cars to find them damaged with no way to contact the driver at fault.

    If a driver leaves without providing contact details then there are a few steps you can take to solve the issue. If you have an accident in a supermarket car park (or somewhere similar) you can ask the company to access their CCTV files to see if they have any evidence to help you find the driver. Whether you can find the driver or not, you should report the incident to the police as a hit and run.

    Accidents can come out of nowhere. Staying alert behind the wheel is crucial, whether you’re on the road or in a car park. But even the best drivers can’t escape the odd bump now and then. That’s why it’s important to be protected should the worst happen. 

    Whether you’re a learner looking to get a few extra hours of practice, or borrowing a friend’s car for a quick trip. Protect the car owner’s no-claims discount with fully comprehensive, temporary cover to save you stress and avoid costly premiums.

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  3. Night Driving Tips: How To Stay Safe

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    Driving at night can be packed full of dangers, even if you are an experienced driver, or a learner that is embarking on their car journey for the first time and perhaps an area that will keep you safe at night driving as a learner. That is why it is so essential that you take the time to ensure you are driving as safely as possible in low light environments.

    Our guide below will provide you with our top nine road safety tips to keep you and any passengers in your car safe when driving at night.

    Here Are Our Night Driving Tips in the UK

    1. Reduce Your Speed

    Speed limits exist for a reason, which is even more true at night. It can be hard to spot oncoming dangers such as sharp turns and other drivers in low-light environments, so you must keep your speed at a reduced speed. Check our guide on areas that have the most speed camera hotspots. In turn, this will help you react to hazards quickly and prevent the level of severity of accidents, as well as cutting down on fuel consumption in the long term.

    2. Don’t Drive If You Are Tired

    Before you set off for a long car journey at night, consider how tired you are. If you feel extremely fatigued, it’s always a good idea to postpone your trip and try to rest up before you set off. When you are tired, you may focus on brake lights and interior lights, which can be extremely dangerous. If you do find yourself getting tired whilst driving, pull up at a truck stop and have a break. You don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel.

    3. Have Your Eyesight Checked Regularly

    Having your eyesight checked regularly is an essential safety tip whether you frequently drive at night or only during daylight hours. Your eyesight is perhaps your most important tool when driving, so it’s essential to ensure you have your eyesight tested regularly. You may even need glasses when driving which may also impact when you are driving home.

    4. Ensure That Your Windscreen And Windows Are Clean

    A dirty or fogged-up window can be an extreme danger, especially when driving during the night. It can be far harder to spot oncoming traffic and children crossing the road if your windscreen has low visibility due to dirt and fog. Winter is especially a vulnerable and troublesome time for road users due to iced-over windscreens, be sure to clean your windscreen and check wiper fluid before driving during the night. With that in mind, granted that you effectively use your external windscreen and windows, other car essentials are also to ensure you are maximizing the efficiency of your car when driving at night.

    5. Make Sure Your Headlights Are Working Properly

    Due to how dark it can be on some roads at night, especially country roads, you will need to use your headlights. You should always check that your headlights are working before you set off; otherwise, you may find yourself in trouble when a ‘dark road ahead’ sign appears.

    6. Use Your Full Beam Headlights When It Is Safe To Do So

    When using full-beam headlights you should always be mindful of the appropriate time and place to apply them when on the road. Full beam headlights, or high beams, are designed to offer you night vision across areas of the road that have minimal lighting. However, as valuable as they are, they can also impair other road users’ vision. Therefore, they should only be used when necessary – in highly dark areas with little traffic.

    7. Keep An Eye Out For Kids, Cyclists & Animals

    It can be hard to spot kids, cyclists and animals in low-lit environments, especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing. Be sure to keep an eye out for anyone crossing or using the road and keep your car at a lower speed, as this will give you more time to react to any coming danger of Kids, Cyclists, and Animals.

    8. Avoid Staring Directly At The Headlights Of Oncoming Vehicles

    When passing traffic at night, you will want to avoid staring directly at their headlights. Headlights can blind oncoming drivers, especially using full beam lights. This can disorient you and potentially cause serious accidents.

    9. Watch For Signs Coming From Oncoming Vehicles

    Always keep your eyes peeled for signs of oncoming drivers when driving during the night. Other vehicles might be giving you prior warnings, such as flashing their indicators to let you know they are oncoming. This is especially true on dark country roads!

    If you are a newly qualified driver and have little nighttime driving experience and are borrowing a car to drive at night for the first time, then be sure to check our guide on temporary car insurance, or maybe you’re learning to drive and a family member or friend is giving you nighttime lessons and require temporary learner drivers insurance to drive their car. Either way, making sure you’re fully insured will help you cover yourself in case of any accidents when driving at night, as well as ensuring you keep within the law!

    How to Improve Your Late Night Driving Skills

    You may be wondering how to improve your late-night driving prowess without putting yourself at risk. Thankfully there are options available to you in the UK. You can book a Pass Plus test that will allow you to practice night driving and reinforce everything you already know about driving safely. Check out our guide on what you don’t learn as a learner driver and how to stay safe behind the wheel.

    Night Driving Safety Tips FAQs

    Can Learners Drive at Night?

    If you are a learner driver, then it is entirely legal for you to drive at night.

    However, as learners aren’t as familiar with the road as experienced drivers, understanding what you don’t learn as a learner is more important than what you do potentially! we would highly recommend putting as many of our nighttime driving tips into practice as possible!

    Are Night Driving Glasses Helpful?

    Night glasses, or anti-glare glasses, can be highly effective when driving in low-light environments as they reduce the amount of direct light reaching the eye. Driving glasses present glare from oncoming headlights which can help ensure you can see any potential dangers before they become an issue.

    How do you prevent glare when driving at night?

    There are a few ways to prevent glare when driving in low lit environments. A clean windscreen can help reduce light glare levels at night when driving and protect you from other cars on the road.

    Can You Use Tinted Glasses When Driving At Night?

    You can wear tinted glasses at night. However, they do reduce visibility in darker areas. If you plan to wear tinted glasses when driving, try to find a pair that aren’t too tinted, as this will help ensure you can spot potential hazards.

    Which Lens Is Best For Night Driving?

    Amber-tinted glasses are the best for driving at night as they reduce glare without lowering your overall road visibility. They also help prevent night blindness from high beams and other dazzling hazards!

    Final Thoughts

    To conclude, nighttime driving for drivers must never underestimate the precautions in place, especially when driving at night time as it can be more demanding. Whether you live in the city or frequent country roads, driving at night can be stressful or may even cause anxiety for the average driver out there, or even for drivers of any experience level.

    However, taking into consideration all the factors presented here in our guide and by following our top safety tips; you can help minimise your chances of a severe accident and keep both you and your vehicle safe for the future. Check out driving-related guides today to help improve your safety on the road.