Winter Driving Tips
Winter is just around the corner and we all know winter driving can bring testing conditions for all drivers, whether it's gently falling snow, lashing rain or icy roads. We have put together some useful tips to help you drive safe this winter.
Check tyres for adequate tread. Poor tyres will not grip when driving on snow and ice. If you live in an area where snow is common it might be worth changing to winter tyres with deeper tread
Use a good quality screenwash that protects down to at least -35 to prevent the water from freezing. If you don't, your windscreen wipers could be rendered useless in extreme conditions
Allow more time in the morning to clear car windows and mirrors of snow before setting off
Use lukewarm water or de-icer to defrost the outside of your vehicle. You should never use hot or boiling water
Make sure any auto wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition on as this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen
Be prepared for every eventuality by ensuring that your car is equipped with the following: demisting pad, torch (wind-up so you don't run out of battery), spare screenwash, de-icer, ice scraper, blanket, shovel, phone charger, map and a square of carpet that you can use to put under your drive wheels should you get stuck in the snow. Alternatively, you can buy RAC Recovery Track which will get you out of the snow as well as mud and sand
Remove snow from the top of your car. Otherwise breaking sharply could cause snow to fall onto the windscreen and hamper your vision or another driver's
Plan ahead to save time in the mornings, either by putting a windscreen cover on your car the night before or getting up a little earlier so you have plenty of time to de-ice your vehicle.
Never pour hot or boiling water on your windscreen, otherwise you run the risk of cracking the glass and an expensive repair bill. If you don't have any de-icer, you could use lukewarm water.
It's also a good idea to carry a lock de-icer with you to clear your lock. If your locks do get frozen, try warming the key or spraying de-icer or an oil-based lubricant into the lock.
Ensure all your vehicle lights, front and rear, are free from frost and/or snow - a thick film of frost on the lens can affect the intensity of the lights, making it difficult for other road users to see you or your signals.
If you use the vehicle's heater /screen demister, don't leave your car unattended while you wait for it to defrost as you run the risk of having your vehicle stolen.
Always carry a survival pack in the car, including food, water and a blanket. This should include extra warm clothes.
Ensure your phone battery is fully charged and you have an in-car charger.
Have your battery checked. Batteries have to work extra hard in the cold and are more likely to fail.
Adjust your driving style to the conditions - be sensible in the rain, snow and ice.
Always adjust your driving according to the conditions and plan your journey by checking the latest weather forecast.
Above all, in bad conditions consider whether your journey is really necessary.