There’s certainly no denying it, winter is now running at full capacity, and whilst we associate all that cold weather, snow and ice with the Christmas season, we’ve got a few months left before Britain dares to flicker a penetrating ray of sunshine our way and as such, it’s time to get prepared. One of the worst things about the very end and the very beginning of the year is the treacherous condition of the roads, coupled with the fact that we all, of course, still somehow have to get to work; it leaves many of us vulnerably skating about on the A45 fearing for our lives on a daily basis, and that, my friends, is simply not good enough. As such, here’s our expert advice on making sure your car can stand the winter, and we’ve even thrown in a few tips for picking up the speed when it comes to de-icing in the morning!

We’ll start with those pesky icy roads then; there’s nothing worse than the feeling of losing control of your vehicle, so here’re a few steps you can take to make sure she goes where you tell her to!

Winter Tyres?

It may seem extreme but they can reduce the stress involved with driving in bad weather by a huge amount, and once you’ve got them it will prolong the life of your current tyres and leave you able to switch them back round again once the summer has been and gone and we move toward the end of 2013! Whether it’s ice, slush or snow, stopping distances are improved and so is overall stability!

Distances

Keeping a good distance between yourself and the car in front is paramount in bad weather. You need to be able to stop safely should something in front happen, whether that’s a sudden slamming on of the brakes, a slide or something else, ensuring you keep your distance will help you do this and avoid any unnecessary collisions!

Driving Style

No matter how in control you think you may be of the car, it’s time to curb those bad habits and weigh in the excess; for your own safety! Take it slow, move quickly to higher gears to ramp up the traction and don’t jam the steering wheel around. Smooth as can be is the key, and this goes for braking and accelerating even more so!

Recovery Mode if you Slide

The worst thing you can do if you lose control is to panic. It will prevent any chance you may have of avoiding a crash, and can be dangerous for all those around you as well as yourself. Remember to avoid the instinct to turn away from the direction you are skidding and in fact turn in to it. If you are sliding off to the right, steer right quickly and you will recover! Keep Calm and Steer In!

Now then, on to defrosting the car. It can be agony waking up early to go out and get the engine running, the scraper on the windscreen and the warm heaters on full blast, but it’s worth it if the alternative is sacrificing visibility! Here’s a quick check list to help ensure you’re on way as quickly and as safely as possible first thing in the morning!

Combine Scraping and De-icer

It can be tempting just to spray and wait, however sometimes the de-icer doesn’t work quite so well, and as such, you’ll speed up the process by scraping as you apply the de-icer, and that way you’ll ensure a completely clear windscreen.

Remember the Wing Mirrors

All too often we clear our windscreen and get on the road, only realizing after setting off that the mirrors are just as icy, resulting in impaired vision. Remember to scrape these too!

Check the Wipers

At this time of year, your wipers need extra care and attention, some give them a clean and make sure they work for you, and not against you, smearing your windscreen in muck and making things worse!

Never Drive with an Icy or Foggy Windscreen

We’re tempted from time to time to set off before the job of windscreen clearing has completely finished, resolving to try and see the road adequately through a tiny gap. There are few things more dangerous than attempting this, so get up early, and spend extra time making sure you’re driving as safely as possible!

Keep to these rules and you’ll be laughing your way through winter, dispensing with the icy distain that so many others feel for all things vehicle related!

This article was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of The Claim Group. If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault this winter, perhaps due to a careless driver who didn’t properly de-ice his windscreen, give The Claim Group a call and get the compensation you deserve!

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