Now that the weather is turning colder and more harsh for the winter, we need to be a little bit more careful when it comes to taking to the car and driving on the roads. Driving during the colder months of the year is always a bit of a danger due to the conditions and the general visibility of the roads, which is why today we want to chat through some of the things you will want to avoid on the roads this winter to keep yourself safe.
Once the winter rolls around we all know that the days get shorter and this means that the sun takes longer to rise in the morning and it sets earlier. It means that at 7 am when you are driving to work it will likely be totally pitch black which makes the risk of getting into a 3 car accident fault situation much more likely. This means that you need to make sure you are super alert in the morning and make sure your lights are on from the moment you sit in the car.
Something which might not cross your mind when it comes to car maintenance is the idea of the battery failing on you in the middle of the winter. If your car battery is over three years old it might be time to get it checked out because the cold weather can impair your battery’s ability to age and this can cause you to get stuck out on the road with no power to your car at all. It is best to be on the safe side and have the car battery checked out to ensure it is healthy and ready for your daily journeys.
One of those essential checks which you should be doing on the car every month or so is the tyre pressure. Tyre pressure is hugely important for us to keep on top of throughout the year and in winter especially it can be a huge thing for us to keep on top of. When our tyres are under inflated we have less control on the roads, and with icy conditions making the roads more dangerous from the get go, it is even more crucial that the tyres are in tip top shape and hold as much grip as you can on the road.
When the winter hits, most of the time the council will get people to come and pour salt over the roads to help get rid of any ice and make the roads safer to drive on. While this might seem like a great plan, the salt isn’t always the best thing for our cars. Salt is corrosive and it can mess with the undercarriage and finish of the car, and this is why it is important to make sure that you clean your car regularly and make sure it is clear of salt. It will make your car last much longer and look brand new for years to come.
This issue is more for you than you car, as in the winter the temperature around us can get staggeringly low and this can be a danger to you in your vehicle. What would happen right now if you got stranded in your car in the middle of nowhere? Do you have a warm blanket, a food and water supply or a phone battery to use? Make sure you make yourself a winter car survival kit to keep you safe and make sure that if anything ever happens to you, you can escape and you will be safe.
At this time of the year it won’t have escaped your notice that we are coming closer and closer to Christmas each day, and of course the weather is not so forgiving anymore. People who would normally walk or cycle to work in the summer will now be behind the wheel, and those who are preparing for Christmas will be going out to do their shopping every night of the week. The roads will be much busier at this time of the year and this means that you are at a much higher risk of accidents. To ensure you are safe, always be aware of the people around you and be ready to stop your car at any time. Even if you are the safest driver in the world, other people might not be so careful.
Snow and ice
It’s an obvious point, but nevertheless it is a point which we have to add into this list since it’s op about winter. With colder temperatures come harsher weather conditions and this can often include ice and snow. Ideally, you would avoid driving in the snow and ice altogether, and if you are able to avoid it you definitely should. But realistically you won’t have much choice and you will sometimes have to drive out in these conditions. Be aware to drive slowly and steadily and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
Aquaplaning is a term which is used to describe what happens when water gets between your wheel and the ground which causes you to lose contact with the road and skid. It is more common in the winter with melted ice and snow on the road and it can be a dangerous thing if you don’t control your car. To protect the car make sure that you steer carefully, take corners slowly and pull over as soon as it is safe for you to do so.
Wind is a terrible thing on the road and when we have strong gail force winds it can compotes throw your car off balance and send you swaying on the road. Avoiding driving in the wind is the safest option, but also make sure to drive slowly and keep your steering wheel straight when caught in the wind to prevent your car moving to one side or the other suddenly.