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Winter Driving

Winter Driving

We offer a range of car accessories for the winter season from the handy ice scraper and frost protectors to snow socks and chains so you don't get caught out.  Car accessories like our range of hi-vis safety items for those unexpected emergency breakdowns to keep you safe, including a very handy collapsible traffic cone that stores away easily and the ever reliable hi-vis safety jacket.  Don't get caught out this winter but get prepared and ready with our essential winter car accessories range.

Winter Driving

Driving during the winter months can be hazardous and dangerous; with the sun low in the sky or rain, ice and snow to deal with, winter driving can be a challenge for anyone. There is however things you can do to minimise problems and be prepared.

Visibility

  • Make sure the windscreen is clean both inside and outside. This will reduce sun glare and being dazzled by the low winter sun.  
  • Make sure that your wiper blades are in good condition and if not, replace them. When you are parked, make sure that the wipers are switched off if there is a risk of freezing. If you don’t and the wiper blades freeze, you could damage the wiper motor and/or the blades when you switch them back on. 
  • Ensure the windscreen washer fluid is treated with an anti freeze additive to reduce the risk of freezing (do not use engine antifreeze). Remember also to keep it topped up as the salt treated roads means you use the windscreen washer fluid more frequently.
  • If it does snow, make sure you clear it from the car roof not just from the windows as snow piled on the car roof can fall onto the windscreen when you’re driving which can be hazardous.
  • Make sure that all your bulbs are working. Use headlights when visibility is reduced and if you use fog lights then these should be switched off as soon as the visibility is clear again as they can dazzle other users on the road.

Tyres

  • Check all tyres including the spare for correct tyre pressures and tread depth. It is recommended that tyres should have at least 3mm of tread for driving during the winter months. 
  • Don’t be tempted to reduce the tyre pressures to get a better grip as this does not work.
  • If you have snow socks or snow chains, then make sure that you know how to fit them before the snow arrives and remember that you must remove snow chains if there is not a reasonable covering of snow. Similarly it is advisable to remove snow socks on clear roads to avoid wear and tear.
  • See our article on UK Tyre Law & Importance of Checking Tyres Regularly

Preparation

Don’t wait to be caught out; by carrying a few essentials in your car before starting your journey can minimise problems.  If you do need to travel in bad weather, you should consider leaving on your journey earlier and let your friends or family know where you are going and the route you are taking.

Consider carrying the following essentials during the winter months:
·          Ice Scraper/ Snow brush
·          De-icer
·          Snow shovel
·          Torch
·          Mobile phone
·          Emergency blanket
·          Extra warm clothing
·          First aid kit
·          Jump leads
·          Tow rope
·          Warning triangle or similar hi-visibility warning beacon
·          Hi-visibility jacket
·          Waterproof boots
·          Sack or old rug (for driving wheels if you get stuck)

Driving in Snow & Ice

As already mentioned, it is recommended that tyres should have at least 3mm of tread during the winter months. Stopping in snow and ice can be up to 10 times longer than normal driving conditions.

Use second gear when pulling away and gently ease your foot off the clutch to avoid wheel-spinning. If your journey involves driving up hill then wait until the hill is clear before travelling up to avoid having to stop half way. Keep a constant speed and decide on most appropriate gear in advance to avoid having to change gear.   Similarly if you need to drive down hill, you should reduce speed beforehand and use a low gear. You should also try to avoid using the brakes and leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front.   If you do need to use the brakes at any time, depress them gently. 

If you do find yourself unlucky enough to get stuck in the snow, turn your wheels from side to side to help push some of the snow out of the way; straighten up the steering wheel and then clear as much of the left over snow away from the wheels. Put an old rug or sack in front of the driving wheels to give as much grip as possible to the tyres. Once you are moving again, try not to stop until you are on firmer ground.