Top tips for winter driving
When winter hits and Christmas is coming, getting your car prepped for the festive season is probably the last thing on your mind; but how else will you get all your Christmas shopping done if your car isn’t ready for a winter drive? Almost every part of your car can be affected by the cold weather, so it is essential that you get your checks done before heading out onto the snowy, icy, wet roads.
Get yourself some anti-freeze
A frozen engine can be a nightmare – and very expensive to repair - so it is important that you ensure your coolant is between the minimum and maximum lines, and that there is enough anti-freeze in your coolant. Trust me, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. If you’re not sure how to do this, all the details should be in your handbook for your vehicle. And if all else fails, you can take your car to a garage to test its strength.
If the roads are icy, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether the journey you need to make is essential! If not, don’t go. Driving on icy roads is a major hazard and should be avoided if possible. If not, there are things you can do to make your journey as safe as possible:
- The braking distance when driving on icy roads is increased; you should leave up to 10 times the normally recommended gap between you and the car in front.
- You should accelerate, brake, gear change, and steer as smoothly and carefully as you can. Taking this extra caution will reduce the risk of skidding.
- If you are unfortunate enough to skid on the road, you should steer gently into it. Avoid braking hard or taking your hands off the wheel.
- Black ice is a very thin layer of ice on the surface of the road and is almost invisible, because of this it can be very dangerous. If you see part of the road surface looking wet, take extra caution as this could be black ice on the road.
When it comes to driving in the winter, it is important that you plan your journeys before setting off. Give yourself enough time before your journey to clear your windscreen and de-ice your windows if necessary.
If you’re embarking on a long journey, make sure you do some simple checks on your car. We’ve got a handy top 10 list of car checks you can do before you set off, so you don’t get any nasty surprises on the road.
Did you know?
Saving parking spots on snow-covered streets is illegal in Philadelphia
Residents in Philadelphia have been known to use a wide range of strange objects to claim their parking spots in times of heavy snowfall, from toilets to lawn chairs! Luckily enough, we don’t seem to have heavy snowfall in the UK to lead to these extreme measures, so, for now, our toilets can stay where they are!
In Ohio, it is illegal to run out of gas
During the winter, especially around Christmas time, a lot of petrol stations can close earlier than usual. We may not have the same law as Ohio when it comes to running out of fuel, but it is always worth keeping an eye on your fuel gauge and keep your motor topped up!