The number of car accidents increase during the winter months, however many can be prevented by spending a bit of time preparing before you set off in your car:
- Allow extra time for your journey and plan your route before you set off.
- Check the local weather forecast. In the most severe weather conditions, such as heavy snow, only drive if your journey is necessary.
- Pack some warm clothes, water and food in the car.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
Ensure good vision and visibility
Ensuring you have good visibility and that you are also clearly visible to other drivers is vital.
- Make sure your windscreen, windows, number plates and lights are clean and that you have clear all-round visibility before you set off. To de-ice your windscreen use a scraper or a de-icer spray.
- While waiting for your windows to defrost, don’t be tempted to leave your car unattended with the engine running. If it is stolen, you could be held responsible for the cost.
- Never pour warm water over glass as it might crack or break, and ensure the screen is fully clear of ice before switching on your windscreen wipers as ice can damage them.
Check your tyres
- Check your tyre pressure before every long journey.
- Make sure your tyres have a tread depth of over 1.6mm. Leasing a car through the Motability Scheme means servicing is included as part of the worry-free motoring package and your dealer will check their depth at every service. However, if you think your tyres are getting close to the limit, you can contact Kwik Fit on 0330 123 1531.
- If you live in a remote area or a location prone to extreme weather conditions, you may want to consider having snow tyres, chains or socks fitted to your car.
- For Motability customers, Kwik Fit can fit snow tyres to your car. However the cost of this is not covered in your Motability lease and you must let us know before arranging fitting. Please bear in mind that snow tyres are not suitable for normal road conditions and the original tyres must be replaced when the snow is cleared or at the end of your contract.
On the road
- Adjust your driving for the conditions. Gentle manoeuvres and slower speeds are the key to safe driving in winter weather. Remember to allow more time for braking and accelerating, and leave more room between you and the driver in front.
- Stick to main roads where possible, as smaller roads are less likely to have been cleared and gritted.
- Use your headlights. They’ll help you to see others, and others to see you.
- If you start to skid, stay calm and steer the car gently in the direction you want the front of your car to go. Try to avoid sudden or harsh braking in icy conditions.