Preparing for winter driving

With the weather predicted to take a turn for the worse this week, now’s a good time for a reminder on the basic rules of safety when driving:

  • Carry out an initial vehicle check at the start of the winter – it’s worth checking your wiper blades, washer fluid, oil levels, anti-freeze and tyre tread depth
  • If you live or work in an area particularly susceptible to snow or ice, consider switching over to winter tyres
  • Allow extra time before each journey to fully defrost your vehicle – make sure you don’t leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running as this could invalidate your insurance
  • Ensure that your windows and mirrors are clear of snow and ice before setting off. It’s a good idea to also clear any snow off the vehicle’s roof as this could be a hazard to other road users
  • Use your headlights sensibly to improve visibility – in addition to the obvious night time driving, it’s recommended that you use headlights when it’s raining; an hour after the sun rises and an hour before the sun sets
  • Use the vehicle’s heater controls in cold and/or wet weather to prevent the windows from misting up
  • Particularly if you’re going on a longer journey or an an unfamiliar route, make sure that you have the essentials to hand e.g. de-icer, shovel, food, fully charged mobile phone, water, warm clothing, spare tyre, battery jump leads etc
  • Check your vehicle’s battery to ensure it’s clean/dry and that the terminals are tight and free from corrosion. Batteries more than 3-4 years old are more susceptible to failing in cold weather so should be checked and replaced if necessary
  • Be vigilant for other road users in strong winds – particularly motorcyclists and drivers of high sided vehicles i.e. vans/HGVs

By following the above advice and using some common sense, you’re far more likely to have an incident free winter.

Andy Guy
Andy Guy

Hi there! I'm Andy, I'm the Head of Charity and Faith Insurance at Hine Insurance with over 30 years experience.

In my spare time, I'm a trustee of a church and I enjoy walking and getting to grips with the garden.

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