Tips for Driving Safely This Winter

As the temperatures continue to dip closer to freezing and snow threatens, it is important to remember how to drive safely this winter. There are several things you can do to prevent accidents and breakdowns over the winter months. It is also important to remember to book your MOT as soon as possible to give you peace of mind that your vehicle is in proper working order and complies to regulations.

Tyres

It is advisable to change to winter tyres or invest in all-season tyres once the cold starts to set in and the risk of snow and ice increases. Tyres should have a tread of at least 1.6mm but over the winter months it is advisable to increase this. Tyres should also be in a good condition and be inflated to the recommended pressure. If you are unsure, it is always best to check with a professional rather than risk your safety.

Batteries

Your car battery should last around five years but during winter they are put through extra strain, powering the heating, lights and windscreen wipers more often than during summer months. During cold weather, it can be more difficult to charge a flat battery. Consider storing your car out of the cold in a garage where possible and have your battery and electrics checked at the end of autumn.

Windscreen

It is important to ensure your vision is not impaired due to cold weather, frost or snow. Make sure you clean your windscreen both inside and out. If it has snowed overnight, you need to clear it from your roof as well as your front and back windscreens so that it doesn’t fall during travel, blocking your view. Remember to check wiper blades for sign of wear and tear or damage.

Lights

Lights are important to ensure you can be seen in low level lighting, fog, mist or snow. Check all your lights regularly, including side and brake lights. When clearing snow from your car, it is important to ensure lights are clear as well as windscreens. Snow or ice can reduce the strength of your lights, making it hard to see them in poor weather conditions.

Emergency Kit

Consider packing a winter essentials kit to keep in the car in case of emergency. Items to include would be something to keep you warm and dry such as a blanket or rug, de-icer, screen wash and an ice scraper, a torch and high-energy snacks.
If snow is likely, it is also a good idea to take along additional clothing, waterproofs and boots in case you need to leave the car and walk to safety. Also remember to include your breakdown membership, a mobile phone and first aid kit.
This is a collaborative post, however all words and images are my own.   

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