Everything You Need To Know About Driving Safely In Winter

There are plenty of hazards while driving in winter. Between January and March 2016 in the UK, the coldest months of the year, there were 430 fatalities in reported road accidents. Health and safety experts attribute these accidents to icy roads and generally the deplorable driving conditions in the winter. The dangers of driving in winter include snow and mud, limited visibility, ice and black ice, blizzards and of course there is the cold.

While the dangers maybe real there are several things you can do to prepare your car for winter driving, to ensure the car remains reliable on the road and also keeps you safe and warm inside. Here is how you can do it.

Check Tire Pressure And Tread Depth

The tires are the only contact point between you and the icy road. If you are a regular driver in the winter, you might want to consider switching to winter tires. They offer more grip even in the cold temperatures of below five degrees. They are not cheap but are worth the investment.

If you don’t want to run the extra cost of tires, checking the tread depth is equally important and can significantly improve handling and braking. The recommended tread depth is 1.6 mm, check the tire pressure and ensure you comply with the tire manufacture’s recommended specifications.

Check Coolant And Antifreeze Levels

Antifreeze as the name suggests is a fluid that keeps the engine cooling system from freezing on the cold winter road. There are several coolant and antifreeze levels measuring kits available in auto spare outlets. Their directions of use vary with the car specification. It is important to check these fluid levels as you tackle the cold weather.

Use Winter Windshield Wiper Fluid

Windshield wiper fluids are not the same. The ones used in summer are worse than useless during the winter, they freeze over the windscreen in the low temperatures and accumulate frost and ice. In the winter switch to winter windscreen wiper fluid, it does not freeze and as an added bonus it helps loosen ice and snow on the windscreen.

Use Winter-grade Oil

In the colder weather you’ll need the oil in your car to be thinner. In the low temperatures the oil in your engine moves a lot slower especially during startup. This takes a toll on the engine’s circulation and the thinner oil will move more easily, improving your engine’s efficiency and reliability.

Check Exterior Lights

It is obvious that visibility on winter roads is seriously impaired, with the falling snow and frosty air and sometimes even the glare from the snow is a bit much. It is important to make sure you can see and can be seen on the road.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to ensure the exterior lighting are in perfect shape. Clearing them off any accumulation of dirt, salt and frost will go a long way to increase visibility on the road especially in the dark.

Check Your Car Battery

The cold winter weather is a car battery killer. The low temperatures interfere with the chemical processes in the battery. Ensure that your battery is reliable during the winter. You can check your battery with the correct equipment yourself. Ensure the battery chargers work properly and avoid having the battery drain out in the cold. Replacing an unreliable car battery may be the difference between remaining stranded on the side of the road trying to start your car and staying on the road.

Door Locks

The cold winter wind can easily freeze the door locks and windows. If door locks are frequently frozen, dip the key in petroleum jelly before trying to open the lock. Avoid tuning the key forcefully to avoid breaking it. Also a bit of thin oil around the key lock goes a long way to avoid freezing the lock.

Winter Supply

Even with all precautions and preparation for the winter road you should always be prepared for the worst. Dragging along an entire survival kit in your car may seem a bit odd but you’ll be glad to have it once need arises. You can always find yourself stranded on the roadside stuck.

Here are some of the item you should have on your winter box

1) A high visibility jacket

2) Hazard warning triangle

3) A shovel

4) Warm clothes

5) Food and drinks

6) A cell phone charger and of course a cell phone

7) Torch

8) Tow rope

9) First aid kit

10) A small bag of sand for traction when stuck

If you find yourself stuck at least some of these items will give a fighting chance on the cold roadside.

However dangerous it may seem to drive in the winter, a few checks and improvements to your car maybe all you need to brave the cold journey.

Author  Bio

Stella Grant


My name is Stella Grant . I am the founder of Speedfinal.com . Automotive is my passion, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.