Using brakes on ice effectively locks you car wheels into place which means your vehicle will begin to slide on the road losing all control of steering.
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When winter is upon us that means days of cold weather and icy roads.
Winter Driving: Safety and Maintenance Tips
How to Adapt to Different Weather Conditions
Ice - Spotting ice on the road is key to driving safely. Black ice is the most dangerous form as it is extremely hard to spot. When going over ice, it is essential that you do not touch the brakes and in fact use the gears to slow your car down.
Maintaining Your Car During Winter
Winter is exceptionally hard on vehicles as combustion engines are not best suited to extremely cold weather. Other factors such as less daylight also have negative effects on car maintenance. It starts to get dark around 4 pm during winter months and most people will commute home from work after dark. This will have a negative effect on the battery as it takes a lot of energy to power lights, heaters and windscreen wipers. If you decided to buy or lease a car with a maintenance option, you should use that cover to ensure all the electrics are in good order without any additional cost. [If not,] quick wins when trying to save on battery usage [are]:
·Avoid over-use of electricity by making sure to turn the rear window heater off when the window is clear.
·Charge the battery overnight if you suspect it might run out soon.
·Turn off all non essential electrical equipment before starting the engine, so most of the energy is sent to the starter motor.
·On older cars, if the engine struggles to start, do not hold the ignition for more than 5 seconds and wait 30 seconds between attempts to ensure the battery recovers.
Coolant (water) is essential to the running of a car. It saves the car from possible overheating issues. But during winter, coolant requires mixing with anti-freeze to stop it from freezing. If coolant freezes, it may destroy your engine. Water expands as it freezes, which could crack your engine block, destroy the valves and ruin the pipes. Essentials for the coolant system in your vehicle:
·Modern cars support long-life anti-freeze, which is usually red in colour. However, some cars will still require the universal blue anti-freeze. Consult your car manual for the correct anti-freeze procedure.
·To be properly protected, there should be a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water in your car in order to safely stop it from freezing. This will give maximum protection in subzero temperatures.
·Anti-freeze costs only a few pounds, but could save you hundreds in the long run if your engine block cracks due to freezing.
It is important to never set off on your journey until your windows are clear and you can visibly see 360 degrees around the car. Frost and ice will form overnight on your windows, which will impede your view of the road until the ice has melted. It is also illegal to drive with a view blocked by things such as ice, snow and excessive dirt. What measures can you take to combat this?
·Get up 10 minutes earlier and warm your car up. Use the heaters to melt the ice and snow away from the windows.
·Make sure both inside and outside of the windows are always clean and mist free. Use your air conditioning de-mists windows faster.
·Check that your windscreen wipers are in good order and effectively clean your window.
· Make sure all light bulbs on your car are working and use head lights and fog lights where appropriate in limited visibility.
The legal minimum tread depth in the UK for tyres is 1.6 mm. However during winter it is recommended you have more, a 3 mm minimum is ideal and certainly no less than 2 mm. It is important to have as much grip as possible during winter due to the amount of ice on the road. Snow chains are banned in the UK, however specific winter tyres are allowed so consider purchasing some if you are sure you will get a lot of snow and ice around your area during winter.
This article is a basic guide to avoid inconvenience in winter. If you do break down or are stranded in your car, make sure you pack emergency essentials during winter such as a first aid kid, a shovel, drinking water and a warm blanket.
This article was written by Chris Rendell, a professional SEO working for a car leasing company based in the UK.
Winter can be a horrendous season for motorists as they can experience several different kinds of whether, all of which require a different driving style. In winter you will get rain, ice, snow, sun glare and fog. All hazardous conditions that could potentially cause serious accidents if drivers are not vigilant.
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Snow - Snow is very similar to ice in that it is very slippery when compacted. Same rules apply when driving on it. Use the brakes as little as possible to avoid sliding on your wheels. Fresh snow is less dangerous as it is not yet compact and will not be as slippery. When snow has been on the ground for a few days it will start to freeze into blocks of ice, making the roads even more dangerous and slippery.
Rain - A slightly less dangerous weather condition, rain still has an adverse effect on driving. Fresh rain is not too difficult to maneuver through if it is not too heavy a rainfall. Just be aware that wet surfaces, such as the road, have less grip than dry surfaces, so keep your distance from the car in front [of you, especially at high speed. Another thing to remember is that large vehicles have tyres with traction that can pick up and spray lots of moisture during driving, which can unexpectedly and seriously reduce your visibility. Thus, approach vans and lorries with caution when overtaking them.
Fog - Fog can be very hazardous as dense mist or smog significantly reduces visibility. Heavy fog at night is possibly one of the most difficult driving conditions. Reducing your overall speed in order to take your time to observe possible hazards, as well as using anti-fog lights - if your car has them, is the best thing to do.