Around 1.56 million drivers have experienced a motor accident in the last five years due to winter road conditions. So, with the recent drop in temperatures, we thought we would try and help you stay safe this winter, putting together a simple checklist to prepare your vehicle for the possible weather issues you may face. As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry!
Five top tips for staying road safe this winter
1. Check it, don’t neglect it
Make sure to do the basic checks before any long journey, it’s a good habit to get into throughout the year but especially during winter as the adverse conditions can have a greater impact on your vehicle. Things, like checking your oil and coolant levels, looking for signs of wear and tear on wiper blades and managing your screen wash levels, are just some of the simple checks you can do to make sure your vehicle is winter ready.
2. Winter-ready tyres
Tyres with good grip are crucial when dealing with icy and rainy conditions. That’s why it is essential that you check your vehicle’s tyre pressure, having the incorrect tyre pressure can cause a number issues including reduced fuel efficiency; the rolling resistance of tyres increases when they are under-inflated resulting in more fuel being used to make them turn. It is equally as important to check the tread of each tyre (including the spare). By law, the tread on your tyres should be at least 1.6mm, but a 3mm is recommended for winter.
3. Look after your engine
Breaking down when it’s wintery outside is arguably the worst time of the year for your vehicle to fail. You can tackle engine wear and tear by using premium fuels (such as BP Ultimate or Shell V Power Premium Oils) which help to keep your engine clean and working more efficiently, thus reducing the risk of unplanned maintenance or breakdowns.
4. Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Winter weather is often unpredictable so it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan your journey in advance, making sure to have an alternative route ready just in case.
5. Plan enough time for your journey
Driving with snow or ice on your vehicle under reduced visibility can potentially be a criminal offence, so allow yourself enough time each morning to de-ice your car properly. Rush hour can be stressful enough so try to stay calm.