Bad weather Driving
The following winter driving tips will help you keep things running throughout the winter months. When you can expect to be doing more bad weather driving.
Driving during the winter can be much more challenging than driving at other times of the year. Now that the clocks have gone back and the dark nights are upon us again. This means more hours of darkness. Probably most of you will be driving to and from work in the dark. You will also be using the heaters and demisters which all adds up to more strain on your battery.
Winter driving tips and bad weather driving advice
Make sure your battery is in good condition. The daylight hours are short during the winter months. As the temperatures drop we will be using our car heaters and demisters. All of this puts considerable extra load on your cars battery.
Some vehicles may be more difficult to start during the colder weather.
Try to avoid leaving electrical systems on for longer than necessary. Turn the fan down and the heated rear window off once all of your windows have cleared.
If your car doesn’t start on the first turn of the key, wait 30 seconds before trying again. Each time you turn the key do it in short 5 second bursts. Holding the starter motor on is a good way to drain your battery quickly. Turn off things like wipers, lights and fans before turning the key.
Tyre Tread DepthThe condition of your tyres is important at all times of year, but even more so during the winter months. Whilst the legal limit for tread depth is 1.6 mm. During winter months it is probably better to have a bit more tread than this .
If you do a lot of winter driving then you could consider a set of winter tyres. These are tyres specifically made for use in cold conditions, they are made of a type of rubber which doesn’t harden in the cold.
Very important that you can see clearly. Make sure that all snow and ice is removed from all windows and lights. Make sure that there is not a big pile of snow on top of your car waiting to slide forward over your windscreen.
Check that your windscreen washer bottle is full and that it contains a suitable screen wash to prevent it freezing up.
You will need to use your headlights more during winter. Make sure that they are clean and working correctly.
Fog lights should only be used when visibility has reduced to 100 metres or less, using fog lights unnecessarily can dazzle the drivers behind you.
Make sure that your cooling system has the correct mixture of anti freeze, this is essential to prevent your radiator freezing up, which can cause considerable and expensive damage.
The correct antifreeze mix will also help keep your engine cool in summer, and it will also help with lubricating your water pump, and also helps prevent corrosion in the cooling system.
Driving in Fog
read our winter driving tips for driving in foggy conditions.
Out of all the bad weather driving conditions fog is probably the most dangerous, and it usually comes with frost an ice. Extra care needs to be taken in these conditions.
Driving in fog can be treacherous. Extreme care should be taken, use your dipped headlights. Even on an open road your main beam will reflect the light back off the fog. Which will reduce your vision.
Visibility can be extremely poor in foggy conditions and you must reduce your speed dramatically.
Fog lights should be used when the visibility drops to less than 100 metres. Your fog lights are only to help others see you. Using fog lights won’t do much to improve your vision.
Keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. Always drive at a speed so that you can safely stop in the distance that you can see ahead.
Don’t follow another car rear lights just look ahead at the road. Following other vehicles lights can give a false sense of security. For instance there may be a bend in the road between you and the vehicle in front. If you have automatic lights, then check that they are on. Often the automatic light sensors won’t recognise that it is foggy.
Make sure your windscreen is clear by using heaters and demisters. If you have air con, then that will also help to keep your windows clear.
Our final winter driving tips
The best advice is if the weather is too bad the best thing to do is stay at home. Unless you journey is absolutely essential then there are some occasions when it is simply best to just stay at home.
Also it is a good idea to check the weather forecast before starting any long journeys whereyou may encounter any kind of bad weather driving. The forecast can be checked here check the weather for your journey.
There will of course be times when bad weather driving is necessary, If your journey is absolutely essential then follow this advice and drive carefully.
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