Driving home this Christmas...

5th December 2014

Driving in winter is very different to driving at other times of the year. Unexpected weather conditions and longer periods of darkness mean drivers need to adapt their driving styles to maximise their own safety and the safety of other road users.

Prepare your car...

Battery: Winter months mean more use for your lights, heaters and windscreen wipers. This means more demand is put on your car's alternator and battery. Batteries only last around 3 to 5 years so if yours is due to be replaced, have it done before the freeze sets in.

Antifreeze: It’s vital to make sure your coolant levels have been topped up during the cold months. Low levels can cause engine blocks to crack and radiators to burst – these problems will cost you a lot more than simply topping up your anti-freeze!

Visibility: A clear windscreen is a must for all seasons, but make sure you clear and de-mist your windscreen before setting off in the cold weather. Poor visibility combined with unpredictable road and weather conditions can be a lethal mix. Remember to always turn your wipers off before you turn off the engine. If they automatically start when you start your engine on a frosty morning, you might find yourself breaking your wipers on more than one occasion! Keep your windscreen wash topped up too, to help clear your windscreen of ice and dirt.

Lights: If you notice any of your lights are out, get them replaced immediately. Blown bulbs can be a hazard as well as an inconvenience for you and other drivers. Remember to use fog lights where appropriate too.

Tyres: The legal limit for depth tread is 1.6mm but ideally you should work to a minimum of 3mm during winter. Wet, icy or snowy conditions require adequate tread to grip properly and maximise safety when driving. You might consider winter tyres for enhanced performance and safety. Tyre pressure can also greatly affect the control you have on the road too so make sure your tyres are at the correct pressures.

How to drive...

Taking it easy on the road is the next stage.

Low sunlight in the morning and evening can be blinding; make sure you keep sunglasses in your car to help reduce glare.

If the road is icy or very wet, leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. Drive slowly and carefully to avoid skidding and reduce the chance of a collision.

Make sure you’re wrapped up warm, or have warm supplies with you in the car. In the event of a breakdown these could be lifesaving. It’s also really handy to have an emergency kit with you at all times – If you’re heading out on a long journey asses the likelihood that you may become stranded?

We recommend that you carry:

  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Wellington boots
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment
  • First aid kit (in good order)
  • A working torch
  • A car blanket
  • Warm clothes
  • Emergency Rations (inc hot drink in a flask – non-alcoholic, of course)
  • Mobile Phone (fully charged)

If you notice any problems with your car this winter, contact your nearest Malvern Tyres Group Centre and our friendly staff will be happy to help with any queries you might have. Wherever you’re driving this winter, be sure to prepare your car and be cautious on the roads.

Buy tyres online with The Tyre Group for fitment at one of our branches in the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland Contact The Tyre Group incorporating Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyre, King David Tyres Ltd and AutoTyre & Battery Co. We have more than 50 branches located throughout the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland