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Winter Driving Tips for Motorists

November 3, 2016

With the onset of wintry weather and the heightened risk of accidents, French & German Car Services Ltd want our customers to protect themselves when on the road, which is why we have put together some of our best winter driving tips:

 

Plan Ahead

The first of our winter driving tips is all about preparation, preparation, preparation. It is advisable that you check the weather forecast for the next day, particularly if you are planning a long journey or your normal route takes you along narrow country roads. Should there be potential for snow or heavy rain, you must allow extra time to reach your destination and therefore avoid speeding. Where possible it is recommended that you avoid any routes that pose an amplified risk, such as low traffic roads that may be more icy or that have hazardous turns and bends.

 

Prepare Your Vehicle before Setting Off

The next in our handy winter driving tips is to make sure that your vehicle is ready to face the wintry roads. Allow enough time in the morning to demist and defrost your windscreens; trying to attempt this whilst setting off is extremely dangerous, as any obscurity of your view could impede visibility of oncoming traffic, obstacles, or pedestrians. Ensure that any snow is cleared from your roof and bonnet as a sharp turn could easily dislodge the snow and cause a danger to you and to other motorists. Purchasing antifreeze will aid in preventing the water in your engine from freezing and thereby causing damage, whilst a good de-icer makes clearing your windscreen a quick and effortless task.

 

Roadworthy tyres are one of the most important elements of your vehicle, and whilst the legal limit for the tread of tyres is 1.6mm, French & German Car Services Ltd recommend a tread of at least 3mm to safely handle wet and icy roads. Moreover, it is good practice to inspect your tyres daily for any signs of damage, loss of tread, or corrosion from industrial grit. If you live in a remote area such as a village, you can consider applying snow chains to your tyres to handle roads that are severely covered in deep snow.

 

Drive Safely

The last in our winter driving tips focuses on responsibility when driving. As a responsible motorist you should always be driving carefully and aware of potential hazards, no matter the weather conditions. When it comes to severe winter weather, however, absolute caution should be your number one priority. Begin by making sure that you are dressed in comfortable and appropriate footwear to allow full control of your car or van’s pedals, as well as layering up in warm and sensible clothes to combat the plummeting temperatures.

 

Set off on a high gear with low revs, particularly if you are going downhill. It is crucial to maintain a steady speed and leave plenty of room between you and the driver ahead; allow for at least double the stopping distance on a wet surface and even further than this for an icy road. If you feel you are about to or begin to skid, keep your hands on the wheel, slowly ease your foot off the accelerator and steer into the direction that your back wheels are skidding. Avoid aggressive or sudden braking as this can cause you to lose control and your vehicle to spin off. Instead, keep an eye out for any upcoming bends or corners which will then help you to brake gently ahead of time and continue travelling at a safe and steady pace.

 

By following these essential winter driving tips you can ensure that you stay safe on the roads this season. If you need assistance on preparing your vehicle for the coming winter months – whether this is a full service to check everything is running smoothly or a brand new set of tyres – our friendly and expert team at French & German Car Services Ltd are happy to help. Contact us today by calling on 0207 609 1502 or by completing our online form.