With the darker nights and colder weather now with us, it is important to take some time to make sure both you and your car are prepared for the more hazardous driving conditions the winter brings with it.The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) provide some excellent guidelines to make sure you are ready for winter driving:
RoSPA recommends having your vehicle fully serviced before the winter, making sure that the anti-freeze has been tested and is at the correct concentration.If it is not possible to have your vehicle serviced, you can check carry out the following checks:
If you would prefer not to carry out these checks yourself, all of our dealerships offer Winter Checks are very reasonable prices. Please contact your preferred dealership to find out more.
When poor weather is forecast, RoSPA recommends keeping an emergency kit in your car, especially if you are making a longer journey, in case you become stranded in your car.In these cases, RoSPA recommends you include the following in your emergency kit:
Listening to the local/national weather forecasts for areas you will be travelling through is essential. Weather conditions can change rapidly during the winter months so make sure you continue to check the forecasts and change your travel plans if conditions become too bad.
If the emergency services are recommending people do not travel because conditions are too bad, then avoid making any journeys that are not absolutely necessary. Could you travel at another time or use the phone or email to avoid making the journey at all?If you have no choice but to travel, RoSPA recommends the following:
If you must drive in snowy or icy conditions, make sure you drive accordingly:
Rain reduces visibility and increases the distance required to slow down or stop. In rainy conditions you may need twice the amount of space to stop that you would in dry conditions. Make sure you use dipped headlights and your windscreen wipers and use plenty of time to plan your movements.
Aquaplaning occurs when driving too fast through standing water. The tread on the tyres cannot clear the water away quickly enough and the vehicle begins to float on top of the water. When this occurs your ability to brake and steer will be greatly reduced.
Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing your speed in wet conditions as well as having the correct tyre pressures and tread depth. If you should find yourself aquaplaning, ease of the accelerator and brakes until your speed drops enough for the tyres to make contact with the road.
Driving in foggy conditions is best avoided if at all possible as it is one of the most dangerous weather conditions for driving. An accident involving one vehicle can quickly spiral to involve many others.
If you must drive:
During the winter months’ sunshine can cause difficult driving conditions in the same way as poor weather. The angle of the sun in winter can mean it is too low in the sky for your sun visor to help.
If you are blinded by glare: