Driving in the Winter: Essential Tips and Advice

Nov 22, 2023

Driving in the Winter: Essential Tips and Advice | Sweven Plates - Supplier of 3D Gel, 4D Number Plates, 4D + Gel Plates and Replacement Number Plates

Driving in the Winter: Essential Tips and Advice

Winter poses challenges for your car. The extended nights, accompanied by wind, rain, ice, snow, and road salt, can make driving challenging and, at times, perilous. Even if you don't reside in a region known for extreme weather, exercising caution as winter approaches is crucial.

Preparation is key to facing the harsh conditions of the season. Ensuring your car is equipped for winter involves addressing various aspects, and we've compiled the best tips for winter driving to help you navigate through the toughest weather.

Firstly, consider whether driving is necessary. With advanced telecommunication technology, many tasks can be handled remotely, reducing the need for unnecessary travel during adverse weather conditions. If driving is unavoidable, stay informed about weather forecasts and road conditions before setting out.

Before exposing your vehicle to extreme weather, perform a thorough check using the FLOWERY acronym:

  • Fuel: Ensure your tank is adequately filled.
  • Lights: Confirm that all lights are operational and free of dirt, grit, or snow.
  • Oil: Check oil levels to ensure they are correct.
  • Water: Top up coolant, antifreeze, and washer fluid.
  • Electrics: Verify the battery's condition.
  • Rubber: Examine tire tread and pressure.
  • You: Ensure you and your passengers are prepared for potentially long, slow journeys.

In addition to these precautions, consider assembling a winter survival kit for your car. This kit, stored in the trunk, can include items like a spade, tow rope, mobile phone charger, blanket, food, drink, sunglasses, spare clothes, and sturdy boots. Cat litter or gravel can also aid in providing traction if your car becomes stuck in snow.

The question of whether to invest in winter tires depends on your location and climate. While all-weather tires are available, winter tires excel in temperatures below 7°C, offering better grip and braking performance on wet and icy roads. Winter tires can significantly enhance safety, especially in regions with frequent low temperatures.

Driving in various winter conditions requires specific precautions:

  • Wind: Strong winds can be hazardous, leading to veering off course or falling debris. If possible, avoid driving in high winds. When driving, maintain a low speed, exercise caution when overtaking, and keep a firm but not gripping hold on the steering wheel.

  • Fog: Reduced visibility in fog demands slower driving, the use of headlights and fog lights, and overall heightened alertness to potential hazards.

  • Low Sun: The winter sun's low angle can cause glare. Keep your windshield clean, use sunglasses, and keep headlights on for visibility.

  • Snow and Ice: Limit travel in snowy and icy conditions, and if necessary, drive slowly. Be cautious with braking, clear all snow from your vehicle, and be prepared for potential patches of ice even after snow has melted. If stuck, avoid over-revving the engine and engage a higher gear to gently rock the car.

Winter driving requires careful planning and attention to detail, ensuring both your vehicle and you are well-prepared for the challenges that the season may bring.