17
12

Tips for driving in winter

Insurance Revolution winter driving , tips

Driving in winter

Tips for driving in the winter

 

The coldest season is now approaching, with this comes much tougher driving conditions. Accidents and breakdown are much more likely to happen during the winter, even for the most experienced of drivers. The biggest issues come from driving in snow or on icy roads. 

This is why we have put together some advice and tips for driving in the winter.

 

Before setting off

Starting your car in winter

There are certain checks you should make even before you start driving.

One of the main things you should do is make sure your vision from the car will be as clear as possible, as well as;

 

  • Make sure you clean your windscreens inside and out. 

  • If you have snow on top of your car you should clear it. If you leave it on it could drop onto your front windscreen when you are driving. 

  • Replace any damaged or worn windscreen wipers. 

  • Make sure your lights are clean. If they have mud or dirt on them it can decrease visibility. 

  • Try setting off earlier than you usually would. This gives you time to de-ice the car. 

  • Check your fuel levels. You should keep your fuel at least quarter of the way full. 

  • Use anti-freeze! 

  • Make sure your tyres are in good condition. Your grip on the road will be severely reduced, so making sure your tyres are suitable is essential. Legally the minimum tread you can have on your tyres is 1.6mm, however, grip can start to reduce on anything below 3mm. 

 

Driving in bad weather

Driving in bad weather

We have compiled together some tips for once you set off and start your journey in difficult winter conditions. 

 

Take your time

This is an important one, during difficult weather conditions you should never drive like you’re in a rush. Make sure you take your time, give yourself as much time as possible by leaving earlier than you usually would. This means there is no need to stress, or panic about being late, which helps concentrate on your driving carefully. You should also be aware of black ice, it is really difficult to notice so can be a hazard if you are not careful. 

 

If you do hit black ice

It is possible to recover from a skid if you hit some black ice. The main things to remember is to keep both hands on the wheel and steer into the skid, and to try to avoid using your brakes. This can be difficult as it is a time you could panic and your instinct will be to brake. Try to stay calm and remember those two bits of advice. 

 

Keep your distance

Driving in any weather you should be making sure you keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you. This is even more important during the winter, when rain, snow or ice could massively increase your stopping distances. If you are driving too close to the car in front of you and they suddenly brake, you will not be able to stop in time. 

 

Drive in a higher gear in the ice and snow

You can have much better control of your car in a higher gear. Setting off in second gear, rather than first can help you avoid wheel spin. This is particularly useful if you are struggling to set off in the ice or the snow. 

 

Rain, wind and fog. 

It is not just snow and ice you should be wary of, as rain, wind and fog can also make your driving experience more difficult. Again, the best thing to do is drive carefully, keep both hands on the wheel and slow down. If the road is slippy or visibility is poor you should drive to the conditions of the road, not the speed limit. If you are on a 40mph road, that doesn’t mean you have to travel at 40mph. It's more important to drive safely. During heavy winds it is best to keep overtaking to a minimum, especially try to avoid overtaking large vehicles such as lorries. 


 

Carry a winter breakdown kit

Breakdown kit

We think it is alway best to be prepared. You might not like to think you will need a breakdown kit, but it doesn’t take much effort to store one in the boot of your car. If you should breakdown you will be happy you have the kit, and will regret it if you don’t. 

 

Here is a list of what we think you should pack; 

 

  • Spare warm clothes and blankets - Most people don’t like to drive whilst wearing a coat as it can feel restrictive, but you should still pack one. It is also advisable to pack a hat, scarf and gloves because if you do breakdown in the winter, you will be stuck in your car with no heat. If you have any passengers in your car you should ask them to bring spare warm clothes too. 

  • High-visibility jacket & torch - After you breakdown, if you need to leave your vehicle for any reason then you should be wearing a high-vis jacket. The reasons should be obvious, it is much safer if you can be seen by other motorists. As well as being safer, in some european countries it is a law that you must have a high-visibility item of clothing. It would help you out massively if you have a torch available too. 

  • Ice scraper - You should have an ice scraper and a de-icer, such as antifreeze available. Before you leave your home you would have to use these to keep your windscreen clear. The same applies if you have broken down, your windscreen could frost over whilst you are broken down, and if the car is fixed and you are able to set off again, you need these items available to clear your windscreen. 

  • Walking Boots - You might have driven in more comfortable footwear, but if you need to exit the vehicle after a breakdown it would be safer to put on some boots with good grip. This will help you if the floor outside the car is icy or wet. 

  • Reflective warning signs - You will need two of these and they normally come in the form of a triangle. If you breakdown you should be putting them 45 metres away from the car, one at the front and one at the rear. You should not use these on a motorway. As well as being safer, carrying these signs is a legal requirement in many european countries. 

  • Shovel - If you do get stuck in the snow, having a shovel will help you dig your way out of trouble.

  • Jump start cables - Batteries are more likely to die during the cold winter season. These can be useful if you are offering help from a fellow motorist. 

  • First aid kit - It is a good idea to have this in your car all year round, not just the winter. 

  • Food and drink - You never know how long you will be broken down for. Your experience could be even worse if you are hungry or thirsty and you will be thanking yourself if you have some hot drinks or soup in a flask available. 


Read More

3
9

Bad driving habits that are damaging your car

Bad Driving Habits That Can Damage Your Car Many of you will remember the days of your driving lessons, your instructor would make sure that your driving was done correctly and by the book. After you pass your test and you don’t have an instructor next to you, some of ...

Insurance Revolution read more

17
12

Tyre Maintenance Tips

Tyre Maintenance Tips   It is important to keep on top of the maintenance of your car and looking after your tyres is an important part of your general car maintenance regime. It doesn’t matter if you travel hundreds of miles a week, or just a few. Tyres are a ...

Insurance Revolution tips , Tyre Maintenance read more

9
4

Checks you should make before buying a used car

Choosing to buy a used car instead of a new one can save you a lot of money, but there are other risks involved. This is why we have put together these tips for the checks you should be making when buying a used car.  You want to feel secure ...

Insurance Revolution read more

12
9

How Many Times Does It Take On Average To Pass Your Driving Test In The UK?

UK follows a strict driving test policy to ensure only the most competent drivers on road. A successful passing of the test will reward you with full legal GB or Northern Ireland driving license. It was the Road Traffic Act 1934 which made it compulsory to sit and pass the ...

Insurance Revolution Blog , Driving Test read more

3
6

Most common causes of car accidents

Being involved in a car crash can be through no fault of your own, the fault of another driver, or just an unlucky accident. Of course it is impossible to eliminate all the risks of being involved in a car accident, but you can decrease the risk. You can do ...

Insurance Revolution read more

6
8

Ways to cut the cost of your MOT before it's due

  Car owners often dread the MOT test given the rising cost of MOT bills. Now, the MOT tests itself cost a standard fee but it’s the repair charges that hike up the overall bill. There have been cases where MOT costs had staggered to as much as £375. However, ...

Insurance Revolution Blog , Car Servicing , MOT read more

17
12

Best Christmas songs for driving

The winters are almost here and it is time for the cakes, mistletoes, hollies, gifts, Christmas trees and presents. Christmas is the time to be around your loved ones and be merry. With barely a few weeks in hand, we cannot wait to begin our preparations for Christmas. Christmas is ...

Insurance Revolution Blog read more