We all dream of white Christmases, but are you prepared to drive in one? As we get into the thick of the coldest season, we face new challenges on the road. From the sun going down earlier to some of the most difficult weather conditions to travel in such as fog and ice, are you and your vehicle fully prepared for the coming cold months? Just Tyres have come up with these tips:
Driving on snowy and icy roads
A simple journey you have done thousands of times is a completely different experience if the roads are icy. For example, braking distances can increase by a whopping ten times on icy roads compared to roads that are dry. For this reason, you should leave up to ten times the amount of distance usually advised between you and the car in front.
Stay safe and alert
Black ice can be particularly hazardous because it is not as easy to see, taking a smooth and transparent form that glosses itself dangerously across our roads. If you’re not sure whether you are driving on black ice, take extra precaution if you notice the road looking wet during particularly low temperatures and on quieter roads. The most important thing to remember if your vehicle does hit black ice, is firstly not to panic and, secondly, avoid braking - take your foot off the accelerator so your speed can drop by itself until you gain control again.
Wet and rain
Living in the U.K. we all know that snow and ice are not the only weathers we receive this winter, but our good friend rain - who likes to stick around for most of the year. Particularly bad in the winter, rain along with other bad weather conditions are the cause of 22% of road accidents in the U.K. alone.
Before heading out into the wet, it is important you check your vehicle for the following:
· Are your tyres at the legal tyre tread depth of 1.6mm? It’s not worth risking your safety or the legal consequences as, if caught, you could be facing a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per illegal tyre
· Are your windscreen wiper blades working properly? If either the front or back blades are not functioning completely, they need to be replaced before heading out in the rain.
Winter Breakdown Kit
Driving in the cold months of the year can be particularly unpredictable, and so if you find yourself either in your car for hours or broken down, it is highly advised you have a kit of items prepared, including some of these key winter essentials:
· De-icer and ice-scraper - did you know it is actually illegal to drive your car if it is not completely clear of ice and snow as these two items will help you get onto the roads sooner. If you are using your car heating to clear your windshield, don’t leave your engine unoccupied - this is illegal
· Torch and high visibility jacket - winter means dark mornings and evenings, and as a result lower levels of visibility. Make sure you can see - and can be seen - with these two essential items
· Sunglasses - with the low sun in winter, a glare can be left on the road which has a big impact on your ability to see the roads and traffic around you