Treacherous driving conditions make winter the most dangerous time of the year to be a motorist. It is important to take the proper precautions in order to be safe on the road and avoid the chances of a road traffic accident. At Accident Advice Helpline we are as committed to reducing the number of car crashes, as we are at providing redress for those who have unfortunately been involved in one.
Here is our handy guide to make sure your car is prepared for the winter:
- Take your car to your local garage: Have your mechanic check your battery, antifreeze levels, brakes, heater, thermostat and defroster.
- Check your tyres: In Britain, we tend to have, comparatively speaking, fairly mild winters but it is important to make sure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition for the winter. Although our legal requirements for winter tyres are not as stringent as some of our continental partners, it is still a good idea to have a set of winter tyres for driving in snow and ice, to avoid car accidents. If you decide not to choose winter tyres, ensure that your current tyres are in good condition with good tread depth and no gouges or bulges in the sidewalls.
- Inspect your lights: Make a visual inspection of your car’s front and rear lights to ensure they are in working condition. Pay particular attention to your hazard lights as you may require them during winter more than any other time of the year.
- Change your window-washer fluid: Instead of waiting until the spring, change the fluid in your washers to a specially designed fluid with a lower freezing temperature.
- Watch out for road salt: Road salt can cause serious damage to any car’s paintwork but unfortunately it is almost impossible to avoid in winter. Before the winter you should make sure your car is thoroughly clean and consider applying a layer of wax in order to prevent any damage to the paintwork. If you get the chance, wash off any excess salt that may remain on your vehicle after any long journey, in order to avoid it corroding the paint.
- Keep your tank topped up: Fuel is expensive, but avoid letting your car fall below the halfway marker on the petrol gauge. Having more fuel in the tank prevents condensation and makes starting your car on those cold mornings that little bit easier.
Above all, it’s important to prepare yourself as well as the car for winter. Be vigilant, and stay careful on the roads this winter!