With the Big Freeze set to get even colder, driving in severe winter weather poses many challenges as vehicles can get stuck in snowy conditions, even on familiar roads. Winter weather can also bring other hazardous driving conditions for motorists, such as icy patches, so with frost and water on the roads, motorists need to be sure they take extra care because braking and steering could be adversely affected.
Gemma Stanbury, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, warns: “With predictions of a cold snap likely to occur in the next few days, we’re urging motorists to be extra careful when driving. This type of weather requires the most care and preparation if you’re to stay safe and avoid a breakdown.
“When the weather turns bad and you’re out in your vehicle, it can be tempting to put your foot down to drive home as quickly as possible. However, icy roads and excessive speeds spell trouble. Wintery conditions are potentially hazardous for motorists. As well as being more vigilant in these conditions, motorists need to plan their journeys in advance. Leaving home ten minutes earlier, in order to de-ice the windscreen and drive carefully, will save that potentially dangerous mad rush to work, where accidents could take place.”
Confused.com has compiled the following driving tips to help motorists stay safe on the roads:
Consider changing your tyres seasonally: Fitting winter tyres during the colder months will vastly improve your car’s safety and performance on cold, wet and icy roads. etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all vehicles and budgets.
Check the tyres before a journey: It is important that tyre tread is well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm, as it determines grip which is important on frosty roads; however, Confused.com would recommend 3mm for extra peace of mind.
Make sure car batteries are charged: Batteries use more energy in the winter, as they are increasingly powering lights and heaters; it is therefore important to ensure batteries are well-charged before long journeys.
Keep Jack Frost at bay: It is important to top up the anti-freeze in the engine’s radiator before long journeys; this won’t break the bank, but could save drivers hundreds of pounds by avoiding cracked engine block repairs. Frozen windscreens are another side-effect of winter weather. It is a good idea to make sure that the windscreen washer fluid is topped up, preferably with added anti-freeze.