Drive carefully in the winter
14th Feb 2017
As the wintry weather continues to bite, allow Kahn News to help you steer away from any treacherous conditions and find your way home safe and sound with these essential tips.
1. The condition of your vehicle’s tyres is crucial to your ability to stay in control in treacherous conditions. Ensure that you regularly check tyre pressures and make sure there is sufficient tread - the legal minimum depth allowed is 1.6 mm.
2. Winter tyres are becoming very popular in UK - though they are not legally required - and represent the safest option for winter driving. They are designed to work at lower temperatures than regular tyres, providing more grip in icy conditions.
3. Low temperatures put extra strain on engines as it takes them longer to reach the optimum operating temperature. Extreme lows can even lead to the coolant freezing, potentially damaging the radiator and causing the engine to overheating. Make sure your car is topped up with the appropriate grade of antifreeze.
4. Wiper blades should be in tip top condition to ensure they clear the windscreen properly. Do not use them on a windscreen that has iced over as they will get damaged. Make sure you have an ice scraper in the car and that the washer bottle is topped up with a winter screen wash mixture containing antifreeze.
5. Make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are in working order and carry some spare bulbs, just in case. Most importantly, always use the appropriate lights - side, head or fog lights - for the prevailing conditions.
6. Always carry a fully charged mobile phone, charger and high visibility clothing in case you do encounter any problems and need to call on breakdown or emergency services.
7. Plan your journey to avoid smaller roads. Use busier roads instead, as they are more likely to have been gritted and cleared of snow. But even there, be vigilant and pay attention to the condition of the road.
8. Look out for potential hazards as far ahead as possible so that you have longer to react to any situations that develop. Never jeopardise control of your vehicle by braking or steering suddenly - use smooth, measured inputs and leave a good margin for error in both your speed and road position.