Staying 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 and shorter daylight hours make it hard to see, rainy weather causes slippery streets, and driving becomes even more hazardous when the roads get icy. 

Here are our top tips for rideshare drivers this winter, ensuring you’re prepared for the season ahead.

1. Maximise your visibility

During the winter, the days are shorter, there’s more fog and rain, and sometimes even snow that can further reduce visibility. Driving more cautiously is your best bet to avoid accidents, but it’s also paramount to ensure other drivers and pedestrians can see you coming in time.

Our top five tips to give yourself plenty of reaction time and keep your car visible on the roads are: 

  • 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 and avoid getting fined. 
  • Clean your windows regularly, both inside and outside – keep a chamois in your glove box so you can clean during breaks if you need to 
  • 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 year-round, but it’s even more important during winter, as they’re your car’s most critical safety elements. Make a habit of checking for tyre damage every time you wash your car, a thing you should be doing more often in the winter months. 

Hazards like low tread depth, splits and bulges are easier to spot when your tyres are clean, a quick wash also goes a long way in preventing rust – road salt is highly corrosive, affecting your brakes and the bodywork. 

  • Check your tyre pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the level recommended by the car manufacturer. You can check the recommended tyre pressure for your car either on a sticker somewhere on their bodywork (on the inside of your door, for instance) or in the car’s owner handbook
  • Inspect your tyres for any damage from items such as nails, glass 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. To measure this, you can place a 20c coin into one of the central circumferential grooves of your tyre. If the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, your tyre has less then 3mm of thread remaining, so it’s recommended to invest in new tyres to stay safe while driving.  

3. Be prepared

Even before becoming an Uber driver, you knew the best way to stay safe is to plan. 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 healthy, easy snacks such as fruits and nuts to ensure you’re alert during the darker conditions 
  • Regularly check the weather forecast and try to predict any rain or fog that may be on its way and plan accordingly 
  • Plan to take routes that avoid known road damage, accident/breakdown hotspots and areas prone to flooding. 

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. 

About Splend

We enable people to make money by driving for on-demand apps such as Uber.

We’re more than a car subscription provider. In addition to new-model cars and all the essentials to start earning money with Uber as quickly as possible, our customers enjoy driver training and dedicated support, as well as customer benefits such as partner discounts and exclusive events.

For more information about Splend, make an appointment and drop by to your local Splend Hub, email us, or say hello on 1800 775 363.