Winter driving tips
Winter driving tips
Are you planning a winter break over the next couple of months? Come December, you may be driving to your favourite Christmas markets, visiting family or off to catch some winter sun. Regardless of where you’re going, your car may need some TLC, so it’s important to consider the following 5 driving tips this winter:
Are you ready for the adverse weather?
Carrying out basic maintenance on your car before you set off will help to ensure that your car is ready for the bad weather. Tasks such as checking the various compartment levels under the bonnet will help prepare your car, you can find out more about these in a separate article here. You should also check your tyres to make sure your tread depth is optimal so your stopping distances are not reduced.
Is it safe to travel?
Before starting your trip you should consider if it’s safe enough to travel long distances, in some cases extreme weather such as flooding will make it unsafe to drive. Always check the forecast before setting off.
Is your route planned?
With little daylight during December and January it’s important that you know your journey and have planned for any delays that may occur. If you are travelling on your own, make sure you let someone know before you leave where you are going and make sure you have water and spare cash in case you get caught out on the road. Ensure you leave with plenty of time so you are not rushing in the poor weather. Your visibility may be affected meaning a slower speed limit is required.
Do you know how to deal with bad weather?
- Fog – your visibility will be significantly reduced in fog, so ensure you leave plenty of space between the car in front of you and turn on your fog lights. It is also advised to reduce your speed. Check your lights before you set off if you predict you will have to drive in fog, regardless of the length of the journey!
- Ice – Ice isn’t always visible on the roads and black ice can be extremely dangerous. If weather reports suggest there may be ice on the roads, avoid long journeys if possible and try not to brake hard.
- Floods – Attempting to drive through a flood can do more damage to your car than it’s worth so work out an alternative journey if you suspect a flood up ahead. In the worst case scenario, your air intake could flood and force your engine to stop! If you must drive through high water, drive slowly and cautiously.
Are you and your car well equipped?
Preparing for the worst case scenario is important in case you break down on the roadside over winter. Having an emergency kit is useful all year round, so you should consider always carrying the following in your car:
- Warm clothes and/or a blanket
- Warning triangle
- Food and water
- Spare cash
- First aid kit
- Jump leads
Get in contact with Mini, BMW, Mercedes and Smart specialists, Star Tech
If you are a Mini, BMW, Mercedes or Smart driver and require a winter check, car repair, service or MOT, get in contact with our friendly team on 01202 694758 or via our contact form here.