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Winter driving tips

A little bit of common sense and advance preparation can make all the difference when it comes to safer winter motoring.

Here are a few winter driving tips that just might come in handy one day:

  • think about your tyres.  Some tyres are specially designed for winter conditions and might offer you a lot more road-holding when it’s a little icy and snowy out there;
  • remember your antifreeze. Yes, it’s very old advice but every year lots of people forget it and end up with potentially serious problems as a result;
  • don’t drive in borderline conditions.  Sure, there may be many economic and career pressures on you but when road conditions are bad you shouldn’t be driving.  Listen to government, police and motoring organisation advice and if they say to stay at home, then make sure you do;
  • check your wiper blades.  It’s dangerous if they are not efficiently clearing the rain off your windscreen and much more so in slushy and muddy conditions when your glass may get plastered very quickly if your blades aren’t doing their job. Keep your washer liquid topped up for the same reason;
  • when not garaged, try to keep your car covered if possible.  Today it’s comparatively rare to see the tarpaulin or plastic sheeting covering cars which was commonplace yesteryear. That’s a pity because it can be sensible.  When parked overnight, it might help keep some of the damp and cold out of your engine making it easier to start and it’s less of a challenge to clear windows etc.;
  • stick to main roads.  Much as we might all love our favourite short cuts via small side roads and country lanes, in wintry conditions they can become quickly impassable – so give them a miss even if you think they just might be clear;
  • be cautious about fords and floods. Remember that the depth of a ford might be much higher in winter than in summer. Floodwaters on the road might also be much deeper than may appear a first glance.  So even if you have a big 4×4, exercise extreme caution and try to avoid going through the water if you can;
  • check your battery.  This advice is almost as old as remembering your antifreeze and it’s also just as likely to be overlooked until it’s too late;
  • if you have a touring caravan, try to make sure it is securely stored somewhere out of the worst of the weather.  We offer discounted caravan insurance quotes where you use specific licensed storage sites over winter.  More information on that is available at Cover4Caravans;
  • even when driving on short urban journeys, when there is snow around make sure you keep extra warm waterproof clothing somewhere in the boot of your car in case of emergencies.  Likewise, keep a good sturdy pair of waterproof boots in the car at all times. If you are driving in isolated areas, some experts recommend keeping some non-perishable food in the car plus some matches and a couple of candles – the heat from one or two emergency candles might keep you alive in an emergency situation though remember to make sure your car space is well ventilated and watch out for flammable materials if you need to use the solution if you are marooned in a snowdrift.

Most people seem to agree that our winters seem to be getting a little more severe over recent years, so being prepared only makes sense.