Icy roads can lead to hazardous winter driving conditions. Dangers can often be misjudged or underestimated by drivers leading to an increase in accidents.
As a driver, it is best to extra take care when the road is shaded by trees, bridges or buildings as these areas are more prone to ice and are the last places to thaw, catching drivers out in otherwise sunny conditions.
Hills also present an increased risk as ABS (Anti-lock ) breaks do not function as effectively on icy surfaces. Slowing down is essential on an icy surface as the overall stopping distance of the car will dramatically increase.
It’s always best to keep your car in good order, especially in the winter months. We’ve put together nine top winter car check tips for basic motor maintenance that will see you and your car through to spring.
Check your car battery.
During cold weather, the car battery suffers a reduction in output due to the cold, but an increased use of lights, heaters and the blowers. Your car battery should last about 5 years, so if you aren’t in a position to replace it but know it’s ageing, make sure you keep some jump leads in the boot.
Top up engine coolant with antifreeze.
Your engine coolant should be a half and half mix of water and antifreeze.
Check the condition of your tyres.
You should be doing this regularly anyway as driving with defective tyres can cause accidents and could leave you with points on your license.
Clean your lights!
Check that all lights, indicators, and rear reflectors are clean and well functioning.
Wash your windscreen and wipers
Make sure you have antifreeze in the screen wash, check for any chips in the windscreen, as these can grow in the cold weather.
Carry a winter car breakdown kit
Including a torch, hi-vis jacket, food and drinks, blanket, de-icer and ice scraper.
Check your cover
A good level of breakdown cover is crucial during the winter and will give you the peace of mind of knowing you won’t end up stranded in the cold.
Ask a professional
Some garages offer free or discounted winter checks so keep your eyes out for special offers.
If you do have an accident in the cold weather or at any time, call our claims helpline immediately on 0800 7834493 , or if you would like to add breakdown cover to your insurance, please contact us on 01803 659112