With the darker nights drawing in and winter weather arriving, it is prudent to ensure your car is winter ready and you are as prepared as you can be for any travel during the winter months.
Here is our 10 point guide to safer winter motoring:
- Check your tyres. Do you have sufficient tread? Are your tyres adequately inflated. The law requires tyres on cars to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. The recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual.
- Fill your screen wash and include anti freeze. The Highway Code states that “windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”. You can be fined for careless driving if your windscreen washer fluid is not topped up!
- Repair your windscreen. Many insurance companies offer free windscreen repairs for chips within your policy. If the crack obstructs your vision you may find yourself facing a fine so check your policy and arrange that repair. Small cracks will expand over time and so the earlier you arrange a repair the easier the damage is to fix.
- Allow extra time. You should remove any snow from your vehicle before heading off. The offence for leaving snow on your moving vehicle carries a fine of £100.00 and up to 9 penalty points if it causes an accident. Your windscreen also needs to be clear and de-misted. Rule 229 of the Highway Code outlines these requirements before setting off in snowy weather.
- Keep you registration number plate clean. A dirty number plate can land you a £1,000 fine!
- Plan ahead. Plan your journey when road and weather conditions are treacherousand allow extra time. Check that roads are passable. Local radio stations will provide live weather updates and updates on driving conditions along your route, including diversions. Did you know the average British driver will spend approximately 99 days of their entire life stuck in traffic.
- Wrap up. Travel with additional warm clothing or a blanket and some food & drink in case your journey is delayed by adverse weather conditions.
- Drive to the Road Conditions. If the road is slippery then drive so that you don’t have to rely on hard braking or sharp turns to be able to stop. Adapting your speed and keeping to low gears can help.
- Leave Adequate Space. Stopping distances increase in snow, ice and the wet. Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow you to take action to slow down safely. If you find the road is too dangerous to travel, you are advised to park up and find an alternative method of transport to complete your journey.
- Buckle Up. Since 31st January 1983 it has been UK law to wear a seatbelt. Guidelines can be found on the government website. Did you know, the driver can be fined up to £500 for failing to adhere to this law.
We hope these are useful reminders to keep you and others safer on the roads this Winter.