Prevention is better than cure, that’s why we’ve put together some great top tips to warmly wrap up your motor this season.
Although we may find ourselves out on the road less this winter season, keep our tips top of mind to make sure your vehicle stays safe.
Check that all exterior lights are working properly.
Make sure your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition.
Check oil, coolant and washer fluid levels.
Check the condition of your tyres and make sure they’re at the correct pressure and depth (1.6mm is the legal minimum but 4mm is the recommended depth).
Make sure you have enough screen wash and the concentration is right for cold conditions.
Steer yourself away from risks.
If you do have to venture into the frosty weather, be prepared by reading our handy tips below.
Snow and Ice – Keeping your motor safe this winter
Make sure your tyres have adequate tread – poor tyres won’t grip. It’s a good idea to change your tyres in winter to ones with a deeper tread.
After snowfall, more time should be spent in the morning to clear your vehicle windows, mirrors and roof.
A screen wash should protect down to temperatures of -35 preventing water from freezing.
Never use hot or boiling water to defrost the outside of your vehicle. This can crack the glass. A de-icer, and a scraper is always recommended.
Leave up to ten times the recommended gap between you and the vehicle in front during icy conditions.
When driving, consider using a higher gear or any winter driving assisted controls that your vehicle may have.
During periods of snow and ice, vehicle control should be used slowly and smoothly.
Steer gently into a skid if it happens. Don’t apply your brakes sharply and keep control of the vehicle by keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
Driving in the dark and fog
Road casualty statistics show that 40% of collisions occur in the hours of darkness.
Check that your front and rear lights are working.
Never drive if you’re too tired.
Travel slower at night – it’s important that you have enough time to see the unknown and react accordingly.
Watch out for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists who may not be wearing appropriate reflective gear.
Make sure your windows are clean because dirty glass increases glare from other vehicles and is also more likely to steam up.
Visibility during fog is reduced significantly, so you should reduce your speed to avoid accidents and always switch on fog lights.
Before setting off you should make sure that all exterior lights are in good working order, especially fog lights.
Lighting and heating use a lot more fuel than normal, so make sure you have enough fuel in the tank.
Headlights must be used when visibility is less than 100 metres.
What to do if your vehicle breaks down. What should you have in the car?
Feel prepared before you set off, here’s what we think you could need:
- Hand sanitiser
- Disposable masks
- Disposable gloves
- Ice scraper
- Torch and spare batteries
- Warm clothes and blankets
- Winter boots
- Make sure you have breakdown cover and keep the number of your provider stored in your mobile phone. Call them as soon as you can.
- Make sure you have a reflective jacket, torch and warm waterproof clothes in the vehicle.
- Always exit the vehicle through the doors on the left hand side and if there’s a safety barrier stand behind it – it’s important to stay well away from moving traffic.
- Don’t try to make repairs yourself, wait for a rescue vehicle
- First aid kit
- Jump leads
- Shovel and reflective warning sign
- Road maps (in the event of no GPS signal)
- Mobile phone charging bank (that’s fully charged)
Top tip – Check the RAC Traffic Information and Highway Agency Traffic Information for regular updates.