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5 extra winter driving tipsBack

WinterDrivingMany motorists are fully aware that precautions must be taken on the roads in winter, particularly when it snows or the weather is icy.

There are lots of tips online to advise drivers how best to be prepared for bad weather and to handle the roads. Click here for Trusted Dealers’ Guide to winter driving.

For the more discerning driver, Trusted Dealers has put together below 5 extra winter driving tips, to help drivers think outside the box and be prepared for whatever this winter brings.

  1. How to demist your windscreen quickly

Demisting your windscreen in the winter is essential before setting off else it can impede your vision, meaning you are actually driving illegally. In order to speed up the demisting process, make sure you’re using your heater correctly which means starting it off in cold, then slowing increasing the temperature as the air dries out, rather than loading the cabin with hot ‘wet’ air. Make sure the blast of the heater is actually aimed at your windscreen and windows. If your car has air-con, use this in conjunction with the heater – the air con will keep the atmosphere inside dry. Finally, if you’re driving and you’re windows start to mist up, opening a window could help clear the screen faster.

  1. Getting into your car

Sometimes the most challenging hurdle on an icy morning is actually getting into your car! There are certain precautions you can take to save some valuable time. If you know it’s going to be icy the following morning, spray a silicone-based furniture polish on the rubber door seals the night before to help prevent the doors getting stuck when it freezes. Always apply with a cloth to avoid damaging your vehicle’s paintwork. If you go out to your car and the locks are frozen, try warming your key up. You can also inject the lock with the appropriate anti-freeze or spray it with WD40.

  1. Cars catch fire even in winter

Even in winter, cars can catch fire, but it’s perhaps not something we’d often think about at this time of year.  Cars can catch fire for a number of reasons, but mechanical and electrical issues are the most common cause. If you see smoke or flames or smell burning rubber or plastic, you must respond immediately. Pull over as quickly as possible when safe to do so. Once you’ve stopped, turn off the engine and get everyone out of the car as quickly as possible, the lead them to a spot no less than 100 feet away from the car. Call the emergency services immediately.

  1. How to dodge a gritter lorry

There are tonnes of gritter lorries out on the roads at this time of year, but what should you do if you get stuck behind one? Firstly, the salt crystals are sprayed from the rear of the lorry at quite a force so leave yourself plenty of space to avoid damage to your car. Furthermore, leave plenty of room between your car and the gritter lorry at junctions – the truck’s salt sprayer is driven off its engine so when it pulls away from a junction the mass of salt that has collected in the dispenser will be thrown all over your car as it moves off if you are sat too close. Take note that gritters only generally distribute salt when their orange warning lights and ‘spreading’ signs are illuminated, so if they aren’t, you should be able to follow the truck at a normal distance.

  1. Wear the correct shoes for winter

Many winter driving tips advise motorists to pack some wellies and a warm fleece in the boot of the car in the event of a break down, but it’s also just as important to dress correctly for every trip you make in your car in snowy and icy conditions. Where strong shoes or boots when walking to and from the car – the study soles will be able to check for icy surfaces when stepping in and out of the car. Once inside the car, you should change into dry carpet slippers or thin-soled trainers to work the pedals to avoid your feet slipping. You can wear gloves while entering and starting the car, but never wear them when driving as they can act as an unhelpful barrier between you and the feel of the steering wheel. Wearing a hat is okay whilst driving as long as it doesn’t cover your ears; ears in winter can serve as valuable tools to alert you to hazards you might not be able to see.

Posted by Leana Kell on 21/11/2016