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Are you ready for Winter?

Posted on 04/05/23 |

In a UK winter you are most likely to encounter wind and rain, snow and ice so make sure that you are prepared for all these eventualities.

  • Remember the first golden rule – if the weather is bad, don’t go out if you don’t have to.You may be confident to drive (or ride) in those conditions, but we are all sharing the same road space, and those around you may not be so skilled, confident or competent.

     

     

  • Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition, your screen wash is topped up with a good measure of additive (to prevent freezing) and that the inside of your windscreen is clean to help avoid misting up. Know how to use the heating and demisting system so that you don’t have to fiddle around to locate the controls whilst you are driving.Don’t leave your wipers on delay wipe or rain sense mode, if the wiper blades are frozen to the windscreen the wiper motor may be damaged if they try to wipe.

  • Remember Highway Code Rule 229 - you MUST remove ALL snow and ice from your windows.You MUST ensure lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.If snow has fallen, you are required to remove all snow which may fall into the path of other vehicles.Make sure last year’s ice scraper and de-icer are up to the job.

     

  • Is your battery OK?If it has shown any signs of struggling during the summer, the cold weather might see it fail.

     

  • The legal minimum for tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm, but for optimum safety start looking for replacements if the depth is below 3mm. Have you thought about Winter or All Climate tyres with a winter tread pattern?These use special rubber compounds which perform well when the temperature falls below 7 degC.

     

  • Test all your lights regularly, and change any bulbs that need it. Ensure their aim is correct, and if fitted to your car, make sure you know how to use the headlight level adjustment control.

     

  • Daylight Running Lights (DRL’s) are on all of the time, but rear lights aren’t linked to them.Many cars are fitted with so called Automatic headlights, which will include the rear lights.Are you familiar with the way they work?Do you know when they come on, and how to turn them on?Remember that they rely on the ambient brightness of the day, so it is quite possible to be travelling on a bright day in heavy rain with lots of spray from other vehicles.Have your lights come on, or do you need to turn them on manually?How often has a car emerged through the spray in front of you with no rear lights on – and you wonder why.Make sure you know how, and when, to switch on your rear fog lights – and remember to switch them off.You can dazzle from the rear as well as the front!

     

  • If the weather is getting icy/snowy, pack an emergency kit, including a warm coat, high visibility jacket, some food and water, a good pair of boots, de-icer and scraper, a torch, a spade and a mobile phone with a well-charged battery.Remember to store your emergency breakdown number in your mobile phone.

Many roads are still pot-holed after last winter, and we have just seen what the wind and rain can do.  Now is the time to start preparing for the winter

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