It’s the end of summer, and only a few months until winter drives in. Driving at any time of the year can be difficult, however, in the winter there is a whole host of issues to be aware of. From getting snowed in, to losing traction on the road; winter is a time with plenty of accidents and collisions. It is important to know what you should expect in the colder months and how to prepare yourself.
Check Your Tyres: Pressure
Tyre pressure is easy to check. Most cars will alert you to any changes in tyre pressure, and you can easily fill them up using a pressure gauge or at your local garage. The reason it is important to keep the pressure of your tyres within limits at this time of the year is that under-inflated tyres are much more likely to skid on the road. With icy conditions becoming more common in the cold months, maintaining your tyres is imperative.
Check Your Tyres: Tread
Aquaplaning is when water gets trapped between your tyres and the road beneath, causing you to lose control and skid along the road. Although not directly caused by your tyre tread, it can make a difference. Tyre tread is what keeps you on the road and gives you traction when driving. Not having sufficient tread can cause you to lose control and slide. In the snow and ice, this becomes even more dangerous. You can check the tread on your tyre by looking at the outer rim to find the tread line. If your tyres reach this line, you must change them for your own safety and other road users.
In the same way that your engine needs coolant in the summer, it needs antifreeze in the winter. Antifreeze keeps your engine lubricated and prevents it from freezing in low temperatures.
Bring Emergency Supplies
Whenever you leave the house in the winter, make sure you have supplies in your trunk to prepare for being snowed in or lost in the dark. Here is a list of the kind of things you’ll want to have in the vehicle at all times in case of an emergency:
- Phone Charger
- First Aid Kit
- Snow Trax
Having the essentials such as spare fuel, food and warm blankets in your car can make a huge difference when you become stuck in the middle of nowhere. It gives you the means to get yourself out of trouble or call for help if needed.
Snow and Ice
Driving in the snow and ice is a hazardous affair. It should not be a feat taken lightly by any motorist. It is always advisable in the winter to avoid any trip out of the house which isn’t absolutely necessary. Driving in low visibility and on slippery surfaces can cause fatal incidents, and should be avoided at all costs. If you do have to go out in the snow: stay at a steady pace and don’t slam on the brakes during your journey.