Staying safe on the roads in winter – The Uber driver’s guide

An Uber driver guide to staying safe on the roads this winter
1000 500 Balazs Szekely

Being safe on the road is the number-one priority regardless of the weather, but as the winter months start creeping in, it can’t hurt to remind ourselves of the dangers and prepare for the changing conditions. Foggy mornings make it hard to see, rainy weather causes slippery streets, and when the roads get icy, driving becomes even more hazardous.

Data from Privilege Car Insurance highlighted the top five days of the year with the most accidents reported. January lays claim to the most dangerous month on the road, taking three of the top five spots of the year:

  1. January 16 – 10,075 accidents
  2. December 5 – 10,013 accidents
  3. November 30 – 9,800 accidents
  4. January 18 – 9,638 accidents
  5. January 13 – 9,388 accidents

Check out some of our tips for winter driving that will hopefully help you prepare for the season ahead.

1. Maximise your visibility

During the winter months the days are shorter, there’s more fog, and rain and snow further reduce visibility. Driving more cautiously is your best bet to avoid accidents, but it’s also paramount to make sure other drivers and pedestrians can also see you coming in time. Our top tips to give yourself plenty of reaction time and also keep your car visible on the roads include the following:

  • Check your lights regularly to see if they’re working properly, and replace any bulbs that are faded or burnt
  • Don’t forget to turn on your fog lights when it’s necessary, but pay equal attention to turning them off when the weather is clear so you don’t blind other drivers
  • Clean your windows regularly, both inside and outside
  • Use your car’s heating or air conditioning to demist your windscreen and direct some airflow towards the side windows too
  • Inspect your wiper blades frequently to ensure they clean your windscreen properly – don’t forget to top up your washer fluid with a good-quality winter mix and keep a small bottle for backup in the boot

2. Regularly check your tyres

Your tyres should be in good condition all year round, but it’s even more important during the winter months, as they’re the most critical safety elements on your car. Make a habit of checking for tyre damage every time you wash your car, which you should do more often during the wet winter months anyway.

Hazards like low tread depth, splits and bulges are easier to spot when your tyres are clean, and giving your car more attention during winter simply means it won’t be as big a job to get your car clean in spring. A quick wash also goes a long way in preventing rust – road salt is extremely corrosive, affecting your brakes as well as the bodywork.

  • Check your tyre pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the level recommended by the car manufacturer
  • Inspect your tyres for any damage from things like nails or screws
  • Verify the tread depth on your tyres – they must have at least 3mm of tread left to drive safely, though the legal limit is 1.6mm

Tip: You can check tread depth easily by placing a penny between the grooves at various spots on all four tyres. If you can see the top of the Queen’s crown, you should change your tyres soon.

3. Be prepared

The best way to stay safe is to plan ahead. Remember, your car is your work tool, and while it should be prepared for anything the weather throws at it, don’t forget about yourself either:

  • Pack multiple layers of clothing so you can adjust to your riders’ preferred temperature setting
  • Pack plenty of healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts to ensure you’re alert during the dark conditions
  • Regularly check the weather forecast and try to predict any rain, snow or fog that may be on its way
  • Plan to take routes that avoid known accident hotspots

Lastly, remember to slow down, and when in doubt, pull over and seek shelter if wild weather arrives. Your safety should be your top priority and there is nothing wrong with travelling just a little bit slower on roads.

[visual-link-preview encoded=”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”]

About Splend

We enable people to make money by driving. Our vision is a future where every on-demand driver can be successful.

We’re Rent to buy specialists. Don’t take our word for it—drivers rate us excellent on Trustpilot. We can set you up with a brand-new or new-model car on a Rent to buy plan, plus we provide the training and support you need to become an Uber driver that’s more profitable, safer, and fulfilled.

Make an appointment and drop by our Member Support Centre at 393 Edgware Road Cricklewood, Londonemail us, or say hello on 0333 016 4331

AUTHOR

Balazs Szekely

Maker by nature, writer by profession, and a petrolhead at heart, Balazs is our very own content creator who brings Splend’s voice to life. He’s been a wordsmith his entire career, having seen it all from the print media to radio through online publishing and marketing copywriting. He’s fascinated by things he has yet to fully understand such as photography, ice hockey, and the bizarre art of aquascaping. In his free time you may find him mixing up cocktails for his friends or away from home on a city break. Drop him a line at balazs.szekely@splend.com

All stories by: Balazs Szekely