As the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, your safety on the roads becomes even more important when taking car-sharing trips. We’ve done all we can to prepare our fleet for the winter season, but there are still some things you can do to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. In this winter driving guide, we’ll give you the advice you need to handle anything the elements can throw at you during the cold season.
It goes without saying that when driving as natural daylight starts to fade it is important to put your lights on. You may have heard of daytime running lights - or DRL - which is common in Europe. The idea is that, even during the daytime, making cars more visible while driving is never a bad idea. Our fleet features a wide range of vehicles from several manufacturers, but not all feature DRL. However, the safest way to approach driving in winter is to use your lights at all times. Even during the afternoon the amount of natural daylight can be minimal in cold, wet weather. Make sure you can be seen!
Cruise control can take the stress out of motorway driving and assist you on a pleasant journey, but there are times when you might want to consider relying on your own two feet and intuition to get to your destination safely. Rain, snow, sleet, ice, and slippery roads can affect the cruise control’s ability to maintain a consistent speed. When the roads become very low-traction, cruise control can occasionally result in a skidding so it’s best to avoid activating it during the harshest winter conditions.
The simplest and most practical tip when it comes to driving in winter is simply to slow down. Not only is visibility often worse in bad weather or during reduced daylight hours, but your braking distances are affected if the roads are wet or icy. Any experienced winter driver will tell you that it doesn’t hurt to manage your speed a little more carefully during this period. Not only will you be protecting yourself and your passengers, but also those who you share the roads with. Share safely, slow down.
Our cars free-float around the Home Areas of cities all over Europe, and that means they are exposed to the elements overnight. If you’re setting off on an early morning trip, it’s likely you’ll have to remove snow, frost or ice from the windows of your car before heading out. Remember to scrape the ice with an ice scraper if one is available, rather than use hot water which can cause glass to shatter - and don’t forget the rear window!
The beauty of having your own car without owning your own car is the extra comfort it provides when taking trips. Before setting off on a cold winter’s day, consider turning the heating on for several minutes before embarking on your journey. Not only will you create a toasty driving environment, but it’s safer than fiddling with the dials whilst driving. Some of our fleet cars even have heated seats! Now that’s car-sharing comfort.
It is possible to use our car-sharing service to travel across borders in Europe. As always when driving abroad, it is advised to check the rules and regulations at the driving authority within the country you are travelling to. In winter especially, many countries have certain rules that must be followed, such as using winter tires or having safety equipment, such as high-visibility jackets or breakdown signs, present in the car at all times. Before you head out, make sure you have done your homework.