Top Winter Driving Tips

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, taking the car tends to be the preferred way of getting from A to B, most of the time, walking or riding a bike just isn’t an option.  As more people opt to use their cars, the roads tend to get busier and coupled with worsening conditions such as snow and ice, sometimes the daily commute can feel like a challenge to say the least! We’ve put together some top winter driving tips to help keep you safe in the months ahead.

Vision

When driving in the winter there are many reasons as to why your vision could not be as clear as it is in the summer months. For example, your windows may steam up due to condensation, or vision may be unclear due to frost, snow and rain. Before you set off, ensure you can clear your window using an ice scraper of by melting the snow via your cars air conditioning. Ensure your windscreen is clear before you drive, as the inability to see becomes a hazard to yourself and others on the road. Winter driving can be challenging enough; ensuring you are able to see clearly in front of you is vital to coping with the potential hazards you might face. 

Visibility

In the winter, it also starts to get darker earlier, meaning visibility will be restricted as it becomes darker quicker and in the early afternoon, not to mention the harsher weather conditions. It’s important that you make your car as visible as possible to those on the road around you. Check your vehicle’s light bulbs regularly to ensure they’re all fully working and in good condition. You should also check your car lenses are completely clean and don’t need replacing, helping to make the road more visible for you and helping other drivers know you are there. 

Tyres

It’s important that during the winter months you check your tyres regularly. You need to ensure your tyres have a minimum of 1.6mm treat depth, though it is advised you stick to a tread depth of at least 3mm as this will allow your tyres to obtain the best possible grip and safety on roads. Do not reduce your tyres pressure in order to get more grip, as this does not work and can result in your vehicle becoming less stable and more dangerous for you to drive. Why not fit winter tyres to your vehicle to ensure you remain as safe as possible throughout the harsher weather conditions? Designed with a special compound that stays much softer in cold weather, Winter tyres will give you far greater grip in all conditions under 7C and really are invaluable when you’re faced with ice and snow. 

Batteries

When getting in a vehicle during the colder months, it’s obvious that the temperatures in the car will be low. Try not to put your fans on full heat and full blast straight away, as this can put extra strain on your car battery. To make your car warm, try waiting until the temperature gauge has increased, letting you know your engine has warmed up. Try to ensure you turn off any heating once your car has warmed up, especially if you get stuck in traffic, to prevent your cars battery from dying.  

Before you go

Before you set out on a journey during the winter months, make sure your vehicle is prepared for the journey by checking your anti-freeze levels.  Better still, you could call into one of our branches for a free winter check; we check antifreeze, screenwash, tyre pressures etc. which ensures your vehicle is fit for the winter roads. We would also advise that you check your route beforehand so that if there are warnings on the roads you are able to avoid them. If you live in or are travelling to rural areas, checking the weather beforehand will allow you to see if the weather will block any roads. 

For more information about driving in the colder weather or to get your car ready for the winter months ahead, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly team via our contact page or by calling us 0845 2997955.