Winter Driving Tips & Checks

As the cold days and longer nights draw in we thought it would be a good idea to provide you and your clients with some driving tips and checks to prepare for winter.

Essential Winter Driving Checks

  • Check your car battery is charged, especially if the car hasn’t been used for a period of time.
  • Ensure that your coolant is between the maximum and minimum levels and that it has a sufficient amount of antifreeze in it. If there isn’t enough antifreeze then the engine could freeze which prove to be a very costly repair.
  • Tyres should have an adequate amount of tread be free of any damage such as splits and bulges. Also check that the pressure is ok; all of these things can greatly increase your traction and control when on the road.
  • Make sure your screenwash is topped up and is suitable for the cold conditions. Generally you should make sure that your screenwash provides protection down to -10 degrees C. if you don’t then there’s a chance your washer pump could freeze which could cause the fuse to blow meaning your wipers (which run off the same fuse) won’t work either.

Essential Winter Driving Tips

  • Keep the revs low in snowy conditions to reduce wheel spins, increase traction and help retain control of your vehicle. You can do this by changing up a gear and accelerating gently.
  • If you do skid it’s important to know what to do; steer in the direction the car is skidding. For example, if the back end of the car is skidding to the right, you should steer to the right. Do not slam on the brakes or remove your hands from the wheel.
  • Keep a pair on sunglasses in the car during winter as the low winter sun can reflect off wet roads/snow and create glare.
  • If you breakdown in torrential rain keep your bonnet closed whilst waiting for help to arrive, otherwise the electrical system could be impaired.
  • Leave more space than normal between you and the car in front as stopping distance will increase in wet weather. You should also reduce your speed as you can retain greater control of the vehicle and stop more quickly.
  • When driving in hail try to keep your windscreen facing the downpour as it’s reinforced and can withstand the impact more than side windows.
    • If the hail gets too severe then pull over and stop to prevent damage to your windscreen, ideally under some sort of shelter then that’s even more preferable.

On top of this you should keep an emergency kit somewhere in your car. This should consist of:

  • An ice scraper and de-icer
  • A torch and spare batteries or a wind-up torch
  • A set of warm clothes and blankets for you and your passengers
  • A pair of boots
  • A first aid kit
  • Jump start cables
  • Food and a warm drink in a flask
  • A shovel
  • A reflective warning sign
  • A road atlas
  • A mobile phone charger

 

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