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Winter Driving Tips: Staying Safe This Winter

posted on Dec 30 2014 by Kiri Nowak

Winter Driving Tips: Staying Safe This Winter

Over the last week winter has really set in. It’s getting very cold and frosty, which means it’s time to take extra precautions when driving.

We have compiled a list of top winter driving tips to help you get through the colder months safely.

  • It’s important to check tyre pressure and tread all year round, but especially in the winter when grip is vital.

  • Take care even when it’s sunny. Be careful on very dry roads with no apparent signs of ice as you drive into shade where the sun hasn’t been and it’s icy. This can take drivers by surprise. Also be aware that after driving up a hill in the sun when you go over the hill on the other side it could be icy. Remember you might still need sunglasses for driving in winter sun to reduce glare.

  • Allow longer braking distances between you and the car in front, brake earlier for corners. You don’t know how much grip you have, normal tyres don’t have the same amount of grip when it’s cold. Other people might not be quite so thoughtful so it’s best to prepare for anything. In poor conditions you could need up to ten times the normal braking distance.

  • Winter tyres can be extremely useful, they operate at a lower temperature to normal tyres and are a requirement in some colder countries. They will provide more grip when driving in cold weather conditions.

  • The key to driving in the winter is to drive smoothly. Be gentle on your brakes, steering wheel and accelerator and avoid sudden movements.

  • De-ice your headlamps and rear lamps so that people can see your indicators and your lights are bright enough. It’s also important to regularly check all your bulbs are working properly and replace any lights immediately.

  • Wear sensible, warm and comfortable shoes when driving in the winter.

  • When you need to apply your brakes, where possible try and apply them gently to avoid skidding. Also, when accelerating, do so gently.

  • Plan your journey before setting off. Make sure you know your route and check the traffic and weather before you go. Take notice of weather warnings and don’t drive if it’s not safe.

  • Keep your windscreen clear. Visibility is crucial in the winter when conditions start to deteriorate. Clean the windscreen on the inside and outside and fix any chips or cracks.

  • If it is very icy and the temperature is below zero then many roads would have been salted. It’s a good idea to stick to the main roads because there is more grip there as less busy country roads aren’t always gritted.

  • Get some oil to oil your locks so they don’t freeze up.

  • Don’t pour boiling water on your windscreen to get rid of ice as it can crack the glass.

  • Allow extra time in the morning and before setting off on journeys in the winter. You need to give yourself enough time to clear snow and ice and prepare your vehicle properly. Remember to get rid of any snow on the roof of your car as it can fall while you are driving and restrict your vision. Don’t be tempted to drive off before your car is safe to drive.

  • Have a shovel in your boot in case you get stuck in snow.

  • Always carry essentials should you break down in the winter such as blankets, a warning triangle, water and a first aid kit.

  • Reduce your speed when driving in adverse weather conditions, maintain concentration and be extremely cautious.

  • Post winter when the frost and ice has disappeared get your car steam cleaned underneath to get rid of the salt which would have accumulated during the winter.

Click here to see our latest winter car leasing deals.