Even though we are having one of the hottest November’s since records began, we all know that around the corner there is going to be some cold weather on its way. Are you ready? Driving in winter can be notoriously difficult, with black ice and snow expected almost every year, being able to cope when then the heavens open with that fluffy white stuff is a necessity. That’s where we come in. Here at Friday-Ad Motors we thought we would give you a helping hand and let you in on a few top tips for driving in winter.
Be aware of what’s in front of you
This may sound obvious, but you need to be aware of how close you are to other cars and your surroundings. The general stopping distances can be increased by 2-10 times when ice or snow is on the road. Therefore, if you stay ahead of the game you can slow your motor gradually and keep yourself in control.
How to avoid skidding
When the roads become inevitably slick due to ice, snow or sleet, in particular, front wheel drive cars can find it difficult. As a result, you should follow this simple rule of 3:
- Brake to a suitable speed for the conditions
- Take your foot off the brake and steer through the turn
- Only look to accelerate after you have fully completed the turn and not before then
Do your windows keep fogging up?
Driving in winter is hard enough, without having fogged up windows. Here’s a top tip, if your windows keep fogging up, turn on your air conditioning as well as your defroster. This works because the air conditioning takes any moisture out from the inside of the car – but make sure that it is set to ‘fresh air’, otherwise the air will be recirculated.
Common mistakes made when driving in winter
As we all know, when you’re driving through thick snow or sheet ice, your car can start to do some odd things, however, a lot of the time these are usually self-inflicted. Here are the most common mistakes made when driving in winter:
- Slamming on the brakes instead of gently applying pressure
- Accelerating and driving too fast
- Braking and/or accelerating whilst driving round a corner
- Not being aware of your surroundings/conditions
Essential winter survival kit
You might think that this sounds a little over the top, but you can never be too careful because the one time you do happen to break down, you just know that it will be in wintry conditions. Some of these items you’ll also find in our article about the Top 10 essential items to keep in your car, but there are a few extra additions necessary for driving in winter.
- First aid kit
- Torch with added batteries
- Sleeping bag or blanket
- Matches/Lighter to help start a fire if necessary
- Drinking water
- De-icer and ice scraper
- Extra warm clothing and waterproof jacket
- Non-perishable food
- Toilet paper because, well, you never know
- Jump leads
Other helpful hints
So you’re almost ready to go and face the cold conditions but we still have a few more top tips that you should know. Firstly, before you get in, make sure to brush off any excess snow from the outside of your car as well as your clothes. Melting snow can add humidity to the inside of your car and won’t help you when you are trying to defog your windows. Another way you can do this by fog-proofing the inside of your windscreen using shaving foam, it has a lot fo the same ingredients as regular defoggers have, and it will leave a layer on the window to keep that fog away.
Secondly, if you know that where you live is about to receive a large amount of snowfall, use a pair of socks to cover your windscreen wipers at night. This will help keep the snow off them. As well as this, lift the wipers off the windscreen to make for an easier de-icing of the windscreen in the morning.
Finally, know your limits. If it’s clearly not suitable driving weather then ignore Nike and just don’t do it. All too often people try and brave the unsafe driving conditions and end up having an accident, that is not what you need in the lead up to Christmas. If it’s unsafe to drive, don’t drive. Simple as that.