Driving Home for Christmas... How To Do It Safely!
Driving Tips For This Coming Winter
Driving in the winter is much more dangerous than any other time of year. Think Insurance have put together a series of tips to make sure you get home safely this Christmas, and that you don’t end up driving home in a vehicle recovery truck.
Visibility - Making Sure You Can See And Be Seen!
You can actually be fined for a having a windscreen deemed too steamed up, mucky, covered in snow or clutter. It is essential you clear your car’s windows before you head out on the road. Snow that blows back could even hit other cars and could impede their vision.
In winter it is best to get to your car 10 minutes before you are due to leave. With an extra 10 minutes on your side, you can clean, de-mist and remove frost before you leave. This will ensure that you are fully prepared for the road.
Clean Your Windscreen
An easy tip to improve your winter driving and keep yourself and others safe. If it is clean inside and out, you will be able to have better visibility. A good way of getting rid of those extra greasy stains that windscreen wash won’t fight alone is to use a bit of dishwasher powder with water and kitchen roll.
Use your air conditioning to heat the windscreen, try not to wipe your windows, unless you have dry towels or kitchen roll, otherwise you will leave them messy.
Do NOT pour boiling hot water over your windscreen to melt the frost, you may crack your windscreen. Instead use lukewarm water, this will carefully melt the frost on your windows.
Be careful not to leave your wipers in the on position when you finish driving. They may freeze to the windscreen and when you turn your engine on you may tear the blades or damage the wiper motor.
Be sure that all of your bulbs are working and keep their lenses clean. You can be fined if they get too dirty or are unclear.
The law says that you cannot drive a car with a tread depth of less than 1.6mm. During the winter you should really have around 3mm and definitely nothing less than 2mm. You probably don’t need snow chains in the UK but if you live in a rural area and are hit with heavy snow, you might need to get a pair. Don’t forget to remove the chains once you reach a road that is cleared or you could damage your wheels.
Driving In Snow And Ice
Driving in the rain causes your car’s stopping distance to double. Driving in snow and ice causes your car’s stopping distance to increase by 10 times the amount than when driving on a dry road. If you get stuck in snow, you can work your way out by firstly straightening your wheels and placing an old mat or sack in front of the wheels, this will give it some grip. As you start to move and gain momentum, keep driving forward until you reach an area with more grip.
When driving uphill it is best not to stop, if cars are ahead of you, wait for them to make it over the hill and then, keeping a constant, steady speed, drive up yourself. When going downhill, stay in low gears and if possible avoid using your brakes, if braking is necessary then do it gently. If the car begins to skid release the break and de-clutch. Similarly to going uphill make sure you are not too near to the car in front.
Be safe when driving this Christmas, and be sure to follow our advice, or you may need to call in a vehicle recovery driver, and their jobs get much busier in the winter months due to things like ice, snowfall and flooding. If you are a vehicle recovery driver please and you would like a quote, we can offer you a great deal on your Vehicle Recovery Insurance. We have over thirty years’ experience of creating insurance for the Motor Trade, so we know we can get you a great deal.