As the colder months approach, road safety is firmly at the forefront of our minds. From rain to snow, winter brings driving conditions to deter even the most confident drivers from venturing out. But by preparing yourself and your vehicle, you’ll feel ready for anything. Get confident in the driving seat this year with handy winter driving tips from Fox.
Check your tyres
According to Kia, a staggering 48% of car accidents are a result of skidding, and during wet conditions it’s more important than ever for your tyres to be fit for purpose. Unfortunately, as a nation we have a lack-lustre attitude to maintaining them, with TyreSafe revealing that over 10 million motorists could have been driving with illegal tyres in 2016. Make sure to check both the tread (it should be 3mm minimum) and pressure to minimise your risk of skidding. If you’re not sure how, take advantage of the free tyre check available at Fox.
Top-up your fluids
It’s an obvious one: each of your car fluids is crucial for keeping you safe during winter. The key ones to watch are oil, anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid. Get your anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid in our winter pack, or from your local store. Engine oil varies from car to car, so do your research to make sure you’ve got the right one first. If you’re not confident replacing it yourself, we’re always happy to help. Clear the ice. No one likes scraping the ice from their windscreen first thing in the morning, but good visibility is vital. Use de-icer before scraping away the ice/snow, and pop your windscreen heater on a warm temperature while you do it. Bonus tip – if that de-icer you thought you had from last year is no longer, put some warm water into a jug or bucket and pour over your car. You don’t want to crack the glass, so make sure the water is only lukewarm.
Tweak your technique
Different weather conditions can call for different handling. Start using these winter driving techniques to improve your road safety, no matter the weather:
- Reduce your speed and extend your braking distance.
- If you do find yourself skidding, turn into the direction you’re skidding in. For example, if your back wheels are turning out to the right, steer to the right and avoid slamming on the brakes.
- Accelerate more gently, and change gears earlier than usual.
- Pull away in second gear to help reduce wheel slip.
- Try to maintain a steady speed and avoid braking unnecessarily– especially when on hills.
- Turn on your fog lights if visibility is 100 metres or less. It’s illegal to use your fog lights without reason, so make sure they’re necessary.
- Reduce speed and extend your stopping gap between you and the next car to reduce the risk of a collision.
- Avoid using your full beam – it’ll reflect off the fog and impair visibility even more.
Maintain or replace your battery
If your car won’t start during the winter, the battery is often the culprit. Make sure yours is winter-ready by checking it early in the season. If your battery isn’t up to scratch, it’s time to get it replaced. Fox offer free battery health checks and affordable replacements. It’s a quick job, and you’ll receive total peace of mind too. New batteries will benefit from being charged regularly throughout the cold months – especially if you’re making lots of short journeys. Get yourself a charger you can use at home, and follow the instructions carefully. So there are our top 5 winter driving tips. Now that you’re up to the challenge, make sure your car is too with a winter check at Fox – book here.