How to stay safe whilst driving in cold weather
Winter can be dangerous for motorists as longer evenings mean colder temperatures, slippery tarmac and poorer visibility.
Winter weather conditions can be difficult for road users and data has proven you are more likely to have a car crash in December than any other month according to Admiral Insurance. This is because December accounts for six of the ten worst days for car crashes throughout the year as RAC experts also claim breakdown rates increase over winter.
Driving too quickly for the road conditions can lead to devastating consequences and motorists are urged to follow simple tips to stay safe.
Scrap Car Comparison claims many motorists do not adapt their driving style to suit the colder weather and their motoring experts have provided simple safety tips ahead of Christmas.
Dan Gick founder and director at Scrap Car Comparison said: “Safe driving in the winter is of paramount importance, as it is throughout the year.
“This time of year we see a significant increase in written off or damaged cars as a result of driving in hazardous conditions. It is crucial that we prepare ourselves and our vehicles properly for winter driving.”
Check windscreen wipers
Frosty weather can cause a car’s windscreen wipers to stick to the glass which could be dangerous if you need to use them to improve visibility.
Experts say motorists must ensure wipers are replaced regularly so they clear the screen in tough driving conditions.
Refill your fluids
Select Car Comparison experts have said frost can cause damage to a vehicle in freezing cold conditions.
Coolant and antifreeze helps maintain engine temperature and protect it from corrosion and must be regularly topped up in cold weather spells.
Screenwash is crucial in improving your overall visibility when on a long journey and this should also be updated as regularly as possible.
Test the brakes
A vehicle’s brakes are one of the most important elements of the car and must be checked regularly for signs of damage or wear.
Before setting pff on a long journey in cold weather, Select Car Comparison surges motorists to move off slowly and check whether their brakes are capable of stopping the vehicle correctly.
Brakes should bee updated between every 20,000 and 50,000 miles to ensure they are of sufficient quality to deal with hazards.
Heavy rain is also devastating for vehicles and motorists who are forced to drive through floodwater or puddles should check their brake pads as a priority.
Check your tyres
Without the correct tread depth, motorists will be unable to drive safely through bitter conditions such as frost and snow,
Police officers are also entitled to issue fines of up to £2,500 per tyre if they do not meet the minimum 1.6mm tread depth in what could be a blow to cash-strapped road users.
Winter tyres can be fitted to a vehicle for increased grip although motorists are urged to check with their car insurance providers before adding the upgrade.
These tyres can be seen as a modification which may invalidate your cover if you don’t inform them of changes first.
Select Car Comparison urges motorists full attention is required when driving in winter weather conditions.
Patches of ice are not always visible and black ice can cause vehicles to skid.
Sudden movements such as hard braking or accelerating could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and motorists should always take it easy in slippery conditions.
All motorists should keep a respectful distance between their car and vehicle’s in front although this needs to be increased in hazardous conditions
Motorists should at least double their stopping distance in wet weather conditions. However, this should be increased even further in icy weather.
Select Car Comparison says motorists should increase their stopping distance ten times more than in normal weather in case your brakes seize.