The winter can be a dangerous time for drivers. Between thick ice and blizzards, the road conditions are often less than ideal. You can make your car safer with a few additions and modifications. It’s all about preparing for the winter ahead and making sure you know what to do in an emergency situation.
Even if you live in a hot climate, you may be travelling to a colder destination this winter. You need to educate yourself and prepare your vehicle.
Here are a few things you should consider when driving in icy and snowy conditions.
You may need to drive slower in winter conditions. You should leave more time to get to know your destination, so you don’t feel rushed and panicked.
Leave plenty of time to drive at your own safe pace, not too fast or slow. You should also leave time to scrape the ice and snow off your windscreen. You can use a de-icer to speed up the process and wait a little for the engine to warm up.
Bald tyres can cause your car to skid on the ice and crash. Tires are an essential part of vehicle safety, and you should double-check them. Buy tyres with at least 3mm tread to prepare for the winter or ask your local mechanic to do it for you.
You may need winter-specific tires in very cold climates. Some countries put snow chains over their tires to add extra traction.
Also, try to book MOT online, to make sure that your car is up to date with its safety and maintenance, before making any long-distance journeys in hazardous weather conditions.
Avoid wheel spin
There is a technique for driving on snow and ice. If you’re not used to cold conditions, you need to learn how to adapt your driving to it. You should pull away in second gear to avoid wheel spin and stick to low gears. Use your brakes gently and leave plenty of room between yourself and other cars.
When driving uphill, do not stop halfway up and try to maintain a consistent speed. When going downhill, use low gear and avoid braking. Your aim is to stay at the same speed on hills and avoid changing gears midway up or down.
Make lights and reflectors are on
The nights are much longer in the winter, and you need to make sure people can see you. Check that your lights and reflectors are visible and working correctly. Brake lights are extremely important, so other drivers can see when you are slowly. Get your lights fixed immediately if they do not work.
Pack your essentials
Keep a collection of blankets, warm clothes, and a phone charger. Perhaps even carry a spare car battery and jumper cables to be extra sure that you will have enough power and electricity within your car. If you do break down, you can stay warm in the vehicle until help arrives.
Stay safe this winter and prepare for the icy conditions with this simple guide.