08/11/2021 by Andy’s Car Valeting 0 Comments
7 Ways to Keep Safe on the Roads This Winter
Of all the seasons, winter can be the most challenging for motorists in the UK, even for the most experienced drivers who spend hours behind the wheel every day. They have to observe the most care if they are to stay safe on the road. It’s easy to be caught out by snow and ice on the roads, and breakdown firms usually deal with double the number of callouts at this time of year.
Being prepared and driving carefully is more important than ever during particularly cold spells. From winter protection to car valeting services, here are some tips to help you be safe on the roads during the winter months.
1. Slow down
The number one piece of advice that driving experts unanimously recommend everyone follow in the winter is to slow down and back off. When driving slick roads, slow down and give yourself more space. This way, you can have more time to recover if you do lose control of the car.
You can reduce the likelihood of an accident by reducing speed and adding following distance when you’re driving in the winter conditions. Think of ice, snow, curves, or damaged street surfaces. When you slow down, you can maintain and regain control of your car and prepare for these dangerous patches of road.
2. Calibrate in low-traffic areas
You are driving beyond the limits of safety if your vehicle’s safety systems like anti-lock brakes and traction control are regularly being engaged. As such, calibrate yourself every time you start a drive through bad weather. Test the conditions as you leave the relative safety of your garage or your neighbourhood.
Is the traffic clear? If you have room to work, try slowing or stopping as quickly as you can without activating your antilock brakes.
3. Ensure proper vehicle maintenance
Car valeting and maintenance is crucial during the winter. Note that the cold can put a strain on your vehicle, so you need to prioritise vehicle maintenance on your to-do list to ensure that your car is in proper and safe working condition. Failed car batteries often leave motorists stranded on the road.
There’s also the problem with improper tire inflation as it can lead to spinouts and wrecks. As the temperature is usually below 32 degrees during winter, this means that air pressure in tires goes down. Before you drive off, make sure that the tire pressure is correct, the battery is in proper working order, and that fluids are topped off.
4. Maintain a safe driving speed
Driving at an unsafe high speed is the most dangerous thing anyone can do, no matter the weather conditions. However, going too slowly is also dangerous during the winter than in other seasons. When you go too slowly, you risk creating swerving hazards for or getting rear-ended by drivers that are going at a normal speed.
Driving is also dangerous when you have to round blind curves. Just bear in mind that you don’t necessarily need to crawl along so as not to create hazards for other drivers.
5. Invest in a set of winter tires
Another thing to consider during the winter is the traction limit. Be aware of the traction limit of your tires; you will know that you are beyond the traction limit once the antilock brakes are activated. You can increase your safety by improving traction with new tires.
If you want tires that can last for several winter seasons, consider investing in a set of winter tires. These tires are designed to deliver the best traction when winter conditions are at the worst. They have larger gaps in their tread patterns and more malleable rubber compound than standard tires for winter protection, and they ensure better grip even in subzero temperatures.
6. Ensure a clear view of the road
Maintaining a clear view of the roadway when driving during the winter may be difficult, but it is critical. Keep an ice scraper handy to clear windows and windshields, and fill your car’s wiper fluid reservoir. Also, make sure that the wiper blades are in good shape.
If you still have wiper blades from the last winter season, it’s better to have them replaced. Start with fresh wipers as old ones get destroyed fast once snow starts falling. Your headlights should also be clean and in good working order.
High beams and headlights can be dangerous in heavy snow. This is because the light reflects off the particles in the air and reduces visual activity. So, if your headlights aren’t in perfect condition, you should have them fixed.
7. Stock some tools and safety gear
Breakdowns and automotive mishaps are expected to happen in the winter. It’s best to keep a jacket, blanket, and gloves in your car in the event that you find yourself stranded in the cold. Also, keep some high visibility items that you can deploy outside your car.
Stock some ice scraper and other tools and supplies for changing a tire or jumping a dead battery. When you’re equipped with the right tools and gear, you can get your vehicle back on the go.
Keep these road safety tips in mind when you’re driving the road on cold, winter months. When your car is in good shape, you can be sure that it can make it through the cold. If you need car winterizing services, turn to Andy’s Car Valeting. We offer car maintenance and valeting services to ensure your vehicle is in excellent condition before winter hits.