Be safe this Winter - Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving can bring testing conditions for all drivers, whether it's newly fallen snow, icy roads or heavy rain we believe you can never be too prepared for the road ahead.

Safe winter driving requires knowledge and preparation as Mother Nature unleashes her icy wrath! Take a moment to review these tips and tricks for safer driving in the cold months ahead:

Vehicle Preparation Tips

Keeping your vehicle well maintained is important all year round, but especially so in the Winter months. Cold temperatures and unpredictable precipitation can be tough on our roads and even tougher on your car. Help minimise the impact of these harsh conditions by making sure your vehicle is ready.

  • Check Your Windshield Wipers/Screen Fluid – If your wipers are in need of replacing, now’s the time to do it. Driving in the rain with deteriorated wipers is tough; but it’s that much worse when snow and sleet is falling and you have to contend with unnecessary smears across your field of vision. Not all screenwash is the same, look for one that protects down to between -10 or -20 degrees C. Ensure you keep the screenwash fluid topped up and maybe store a spare bottle in your boot in case of emergencies.
  • How’s that Battery Holding Up? – It’s always important to have a professional look over your battery and charging system before the cold temperatures put added strain on them. Most newer vehicles won’t require a regular battery service. But if you’re driving a car with a few miles or years on it, you want to make sure your battery can handle the coming winter. The last thing you want is an old battery leaving you stuck when the temperatures drop.
  • Keep it Cool – Your coolant system is very important when driving in winter conditions. Not only does antifreeze prevent your car from succumbing to the cold temperatures, many can experience engine overheating problems as winter temperatures cause issues in the cooling system. Make sure your coolant is at the levels recommended in the owner’s manual and when in doubt, have the system tested by a professional.
  • Tyres - You should regularly check the condition of your tyres, looking out for damage such as bulges or splits. Maybe consider purchasing winter tyres or snow socks if you live in an area prone to heavy snow.
  • Have an Emergency Kit Ready – When weather conditions make driving impossible, or an unforeseen issue has you stranded, have supplies on hand. Emergency response can take added time in winter conditions, so make sure you’re ready. A well-stocked emergency kit should include: a snow brush/shovel, ice scraper & de-icer, torch & spare batteries, a blanket to keep warm, spare gloves and boots, First Aid kit, jump start leads, warning triangle, mobile phone charger and some rations in case you’re stuck on the side of the road for a bit.

Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Driving

The easiest way to stay safe during winter weather is not to drive in it, but if you must, here are a few recommendations that can help you get from A to B as safely as possible.

Do

  • Plan your route, checking to see if there are any problems in terms of traffic/weather
  • Slow down and give yourself lots of room to stop. When roads are slick, every second counts.
  • Make sure your windows and headlamps are completely clear before driving. Poor visibility is dangerous for you and everyone else around you.
  • Use low gears for maximum traction on slippery or snow-covered roads.
  • Switch to snow tyres if the temperatures drop.
  • Advise friends/relatives of intended route and expected arrival time.
  • Listen to local radio for travel & weather updates
Don’t
  • Use cruise control when traveling in slippery conditions.
  • Drive distracted. Keep your phone away and your eyes on the road.
  • Be overconfident. Just because you may have four-wheel drive or snow tyres doesn’t make your vehicle immune to poor driving conditions.
Winter driving requires patience, preparation and a light touch on the controls. Slowing down and being extra-aware of your surroundings can go a long way to ensuring a safe trip even in challenging driving conditions.


Ensure your car is safe and ready for Winter driving by booking in for our £19.99 Winter Health Check here