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 premium 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.
Car-sharing can be a great way to escape the cold in winter. Driving your own car to your destination with the heating on is certainly more comfortable than braving the weather outdoors, but it’s nothing if the cars are not cold weather ready. SHARE NOW fits most of its vehicles with winter tires in compliance with local regulations to ensure the safety of its customers as part of our regular seasonal maintenance. We also make sure all of the vehicles in our fleet are oiled and the window cleaners are topped up to tackle salted roads, ready to drive.
Regardless of how experienced a driver you are, the autumn and winter months bring additional challenges for road users compared to the warmth of spring and summer. It’s not just the drop in temperature that can affect how your car handles on the roads, but reduced natural light makes visibility more difficult. To make sure you stay safe when car-sharing this winter, we’ve put together our top winter driving tips for our car-sharing community.
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 is Europe. The idea is that, even during the day time, making cars more visible while driving is never a bad idea. Our fleet features a range of premium 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!
At SHARE NOW, we’re proud to offer several fully electric vehicles as part of our European fleet. Zero emissions cars such as these are a joy to drive, but there are some considerations to take into account during the colder months of the year. Batteries behave differently in extreme temperatures, and it is well-known that range can be negatively affected when it’s very cold outside. Be sure to plan accordingly, and play it safe when it comes to calculating your journey distance and the amount of charge you will need to make it. You can always charge our electric cars for free if you are running out of range. You can learn more about driving fully electric vehicles in our full guide.
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 on which you share the roads. Share safely, slow down.
As the famous saying goes, failure to prepare is preparing to fail. When it comes to longer winter road trips, preparation is the key to a safe and pleasant journey. If you’ve pre-booked a car-sharing trip with SHARE NOW, it’s time to start thinking about ways in which you can safeguard against any nasty surprises the winter can have in store for you.
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 a 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 last thing you want when it’s cold outside is to get caught out with no fuel. Plan ahead and make sure you have plenty in reserve to make it to your destination. With SHARE NOW car-sharing, you might as well fill up the tank completely before heading out on longer road trips - after all, fuelling is always free and you can even earn driving credit for filling up our cars.
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 boarders 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 countires have certain rules that must be followed, such as using winter tires or having safety equipment, such as high-visibilty jackets or breakdown signs, present in the car at all times. Before you head out, make sure you have done your homework.
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