How to stay safe on the roads this winter
As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to plummet, driving on the roads can become increasingly difficult and hazardous. To stay safe, it’s important to adjust your driving style according to the weather conditions, and carry out the necessary vehicle checks before you venture out.
Jonathan Allbones from car supermarket, The Car People, has put together the following top tips and advice to help you tackle the big freeze from behind the wheel.
Firstly, make sure your tyres are suitable for winter conditions. Most UK cars are fitted with either summer or all-season tyres, however these tyres will not perform at their best in extremely cold conditions. Winter tyres are designed to be flexible in extreme cold, providing a better grip on snow and ice. Although not mandatory by law, they’re a great way to help keep you safe in icy conditions, especially in rural areas.
It is also important to remember to top up your coolant with antifreeze. Most modern cars now come with a sealed cooling system that shouldn’t need topping up. The coolant should be a 50/50 split between water and antifreeze, but this can dilute over time. This can result in freezing and potential damage to the engine, so ensure your coolant is at the correct level before making any journeys during winter.
Long journeys are also very common during the festive season, as people drive far and wide to spend Christmas with family and friends. It’s important to plan your journey and be prepared for any adverse conditions that might make driving difficult. Check the weather, traffic news and safest routes before you begin your journey, and make sure you have warm clothes and food packed, should you break down.
Ensure that you check your breakdown cover. A fully comprehensive breakdown cover is vital if you’re driving during the winter months, and will give you piece of mind that you won’t be stuck if you do break down. Before you venture out on the roads, double check exactly what you are covered for.
Keeping on top of the weather conditions is vital during the winter months. Before you make a car journey, download a weather app to your phone and double check you won’t encounter any wintery conditions during your journey. If you think you might encounter particularly bad weather, it is worth postponing your trip until conditions have improved.
To discover more winter driving tips, visit https://www.thecarpeople.co.uk/blog/winter-car-checks