Top Tips For Winter Driving
As winter is fast approaching, the roads and driving conditions can become more of a challenge and potentially dangerous. During these conditions, it’s important to adjust your driving and keep your car in the best condition possible to avoid any unwanted break downs or accidents.
Here are just some of our top tips to help keep you safe in the wintery conditions.
Make sure you regularly check your headlights as it is illegal to drive at night without properly functioning front and rear lights. If a blub does need changing book yourself in with our aftersales team to get it fixes and try to avoid driving at night and get it changed as soon as possible.
When driving in Winter, you will likely need to de-ice your car on a regular basis to make sure your visibility is as clear as possible. If you drive off with ice on your windscreen, your visibility is reduced and you may cause an accident. Make sure to clear all ice and any condensation before you start your journey. It’s a good idea to leave an additional 5 minutes to de-ice your car rather than rushing to clear your windscreen.
In heavy rain or snow conditions make sure you reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances are increased. The grip between the tyres and the road surface will not be as good in these conditions.
Because the road surface offers reduced grip during Winter, you can speak to our aftersales team about getting some Winter tyres fitted to improve your grip on the road if you are doing regular journeys in the Winter months. You may be wondering what Winter tyres are; well they are generally higher tread, usually around 8mm or 9mm rather than 7mm or 8mm like standard tyres and the grooves within the tyre are deeper, meaning the snow can travel into these grooves, maintaining grip on the surface of the tyre. Winter tyres also offer better grip in both wet and dry conditions but become most effective when the temperature dips below 7 degrees.
Remember to always check your tyre tread, you need a minimum of 1.6mm and grip starts to reduce when the tread is below 3mm.
With the freezing temperatures at night, the gritters are out making sure our roads are safer to drive on. The salt can be a hazard to you as it leaves a white and grey film on windscreens. To avoid this, make sure your screen wash is topped up frequently and keep some spare windscreen fluid in your car for if you do run out. You want your windscreen to be provide complete visibility and not obscured by any film.
If you are making a substantial journey, make sure you have enough fuel. In Winter, you will likely burn through more fuel as you will have the heaters switched on and the car will take longer to heat up. This means there is less change of breaking down in cold and wet conditions.
Break Down Kit
Finally, prepare for a potential breakdown by making sure you always have an emergency breakdown kit in your car. Including just some of the following can help you stay safer in these wintery conditions, an ice-scraper and de-icer, a torch, warm clothes and blankets, empty fuel can, a shovel, first aid kit & jump start cables. Sometimes you might not be able to prevent breaking down, but you can be prepared.