Top Tips to Drive Safely in Winter

Driving in the winter months can be challenging for anybody, no matter how experienced you are behind the wheel.

From the frost covering your windows to the slippery ice coating the roads, there are hazards everywhere when the weather is cold. Not to mention the fact that it gets darker much earlier during winter, which is a risk factor for road traffic accidents in and of itself.

Due to the challenges that winter presents, it’s important that you drive with caution. This might mean driving more slowly or taking a different route but it’s worth taking extra precautions to maximize your safety.

Even with the best car warranty and regular repairs and car part replacements, your vehicle can still fail you in extreme weather conditions.

Here are some top tips to help you drive safely during the winter months.

Allow The Car to Defrost

When you head out to your car on a frosty winter morning, you’ll likely be greeted by a very frosty car. If you’re in a rush, you might be tempted to jump in the car and set off while it’s still frosty.

But a frosty windscreen can limit your vision of the road and may increase your risk of having an accident. Driving with frost or snow on your windscreen is actually illegal in some areas for this reason.

If your car is covered in frost, turn the engine on and leave it running for a couple of minutes until the engine heats up. The frost will start to melt and is much easier to wipe off when your car is slightly warmer.

Check Your Tires

Each car will require a specific tire inflation value and this will be specified in the manufacturer’s handbook. Make sure you check your vehicle’s requirements and ensure your tires are pumped up to the right levels.

There are also legal minimum tire tread requirements during winter. This is usually around 3 mm in winter compared to 1.6 mm in spring and summer. Of course, you should always make sure you are complying with the law, but you could go one step further and invest in winter tires.

Winter tires are usually made from a softer rubber which enables them to get a stronger grip on slippery surfaces, such as icy roads. If you don’t fancy changing your tires each season, you can also buy all year-round tires, which are appropriate for winter and summer weathers.

Drive More Slowly

Roads can be slippery even when they don’t look like they are. Ice can be invisible on certain roads (known as black ice) and this can be a huge safety hazard.

If you’re not careful, your tires could skid and you might end up losing control of your vehicle on the slippery roads. This can lead to accidents and injuries.

Drive more slowly than usual and be extra cautious when performing any manoeuvres with your car to avoid any incidents. This might mean setting off earlier to get to work on time or planning an easier route but it’s important for your safety.

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