As the nights become longer and the winter weather begins to set in, it’s becoming increasingly important to take care while driving. With conditions on the UK’s roads taking a turn for the worse, drivers need to be aware of how to look after their car to help avoid breakdowns and collisions.
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Motor accidents increase by 20% during the winter months, according to car insurance firm Insure The Box. This is down to a combination of poor conditions and lack of preparation. While early nights and icy roads are undoubtedly a huge problem for motorists, planning ahead and taking extra care could make the difference this winter.
Take care of your car
It may not be the most fun job in the world, but a few minutes of maintenance could save you hours of headaches in the long run. Tyre care is always important, but especially so in icy and snowy conditions. Make sure your tyre tread is in good condition and that the tyres themselves are inflated correctly — this handy guide from Confused.com can tell you exactly what to look for.
Visibility is another key component of safe winter driving. Make sure all your lights, indicators, and reflectors are clean, with no cracked or blown bulbs. Likewise, your windscreen and wipers should be cleaned thoroughly and your washer fluid topped up to ensure maximum safety.
Have the right equipment
There are a whole host of items needed to keep your car running smoothly throughout the winter months. The wet weather means a lot of dirt and grime will find its way to your windscreen, and your wipers will do a great job of smearing it all over the place. A high-quality screen wash will stop this problem.
Ice isn’t just a big danger out on the roads: it will also wreak havoc on both the interior and exterior of your car. This can be prevented by purchasing some high-quality antifreeze, which will protect the water in your car’s cooling system, as well as de-icer and a good-old-fashioned scraper, which will help keep your windows and mirrors in check. You can find everything you need in the winter accessories range at GSF Car Parts.
Be prepared for the worst
The truth is that no matter what you do, things outside of your control can go wrong. That’s why it’s always wise to prepare for the worst. Check the weather and road conditions before a journey and leave yourself plenty of time so you never need to rush. Keep some extra supplies on hand for the absolute worst case scenario; it may sound unlikely, but it does happen — like when hundreds of drivers were trapped in their cars overnight in January. An extra coat and blanket in the boot of the car along with a shovel and a torch just in case can make all the difference. And, if you want to go a step further, keep some bottles of water and non-perishable food on hand.
There are no guarantees when it comes to being safe on the road, and avoiding hazardous conditions is always the best option if possible. But by following our tips, you will be in the best position to make those tricky winter journeys.