At this time of year, the roads can be unpredictable, the combination of wet weather and freezing temperatures can make roads traitorous and can spell danger, and expense, for unsuspecting drivers.
Now we’re not teaching anyone to suck eggs here but we’ve put together a few tips for keeping safe in winter weather.
Firstly, there’s the matter of de-icing. Yes, we know you don’t want to spend an extra ten minutes de-icing the car before you have to go to the office but if you don’t you could be endangering the life of yourself and the lives of others. Not only that, but you will be breaking the law.
The Highway Code states that “windows and windscreens must be kept clean and free of obstructions to vision” as well as “lights, indicators, reflectors and number plates must be kept clear” this includes all windows as well as any condensation that forms inside the car also has to be removed.
It is advised that the only things that should ever be used to remove ice from car windows should be either an ice-scraper or a form de-icing liquid. Usually you’ll need both as the de-icer liquid rarely does the job adequately. Never use boiling water to melt the ice/snow on a car, although windscreens are certainly more resilient than they used to be, pouring hot liquid onto frozen glass is unlikely to have a positive effect.
If you often tend to ‘turn the car on, heaters on at full and leave it for 10 minutes’ you may want to think again. The law states that whilst ever a vehicle is running, somebody must be in control of it. Not only that but should you leave your keys in the car and the engine running, then the car be stolen it’s highly unlikely that your insurance company will pay out.
Driving Safely in Snow
It goes without saying really, only make the journey if absolutely necessary but if you do have to make the journey then be sure to be as careful as possible.
If you’re heading out into the snow then it makes sense to gather together a few supplies before venturing on your journey. A supply of some food, water, warm clothing or blankets, a torch, a first aid kit, a fully charged mobile phone, jump leads, a shovel, an ice scraper or de-icer should all come in handy should your journey take a turn for the worst. Ensure you have a full tank of fuel too!
Before you leave, check that all your fluid levels are topped up to maximum and ensure that they treat on your car tyres is sufficient.
Once you’re on your way ensure that you stick to as many major roads as possible, these are more likely to have been gritted and travelled on more than smaller, quieter roads. Always keep your distance from the vehicle in front to leave you adequate time to react and allow extra for the road conditions. Don’t forget to put your headlights on should it begin to snow again.
Changing gear early as you accelerate and changing down late as you decelerate ensures revs are kept to a minimum thus reducing the risk of wheel-spinning. Avoid making any sudden manoeuvres that might unbalance the car, such as sharp steering or braking as these are likely to increase the likelihood of your car skidding.
Cars for the Snow
If you want to go that little bit further and you’re looking for a car that is good in the snow, then we’d recommend the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the Land Rover Discovery, the VW Tiguan, the Volvo XC60 and the XC90, the Mercedes GLC, Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Qashqui as well as the BMW X1.
If you’d like to arrange your next lease then why not contact us today? You can call the team on 01332 290173 or complete the form below and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.