Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, he is advising on ways to improve your driving for the New Year:
- Night driving: You must be able to stop in the distance you see to be clear. Use your lights on full beam where possible and keep windows and mirrors clean to maximise your view.
- Eyesight: The NHS suggests having an eye test every two years. It is your responsibility to ensure you're fit to drive. Many eyesight problems are worsened when driving in the dark.
- Weather: Heed weather warnings all year round. If the weather is really bad, consider whether you need to travel at all. If so, there are alternatives to driving.
- Year-round maintenance: Clean your windows, lights, mirrors and number plates regularly. You should spend around 10 minutes every week checking your vehicle's fluid levels, tyre pressure, lights, tread depth and windscreen wipers.
- Eco-driving: A planned drive is an economical drive – having a good sense of your vehicle's power and gears will save fuel.
- Anticipate: Consider what the traffic around you may do, especially at traffic lights, roundabouts and junctions.
- Refuel: Be sure to top up your tank, especially when embarking upon long journeys. Running out of fuel causes hundreds of motorway breakdowns every year.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "The New Year is a common time for people to sit back, reflect and evaluate their goals for the upcoming year. Why not begin by incorporating your driving behaviour into your list of resolutions for 2013?"
To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.
Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.