Top tips for driving in icy or snowy conditions
When Sean Bean first said “Winter is Coming” he was only a mile from our Belfast office on the set of Game of Thrones. The actor’s stark reminder (pun intended) of the impending adverse weather couldn’t be more relevant to a Northern Irish road user.
We have compiled our top tips for reducing both road accidents and general inconvenience.
Battery & Electrics
Your car battery works harder during the cold season because of extra demand from wipers, lights and of course, heat. It’s important to give your battery a little more TLC than usual. If you experience problems in extreme colds - Try:
- Turning off electrics before starting the ignition.
- Using the starter in short 5 second bursts.
- Waiting 30 seconds between tries if your car doesn’t start quickly.
The correct tyres for winter are essential, especially if you live in areas of Northern Ireland that are particularly prone to ice and snow. Ensure you have at least 3mm of tread or consider purchasing winter tyres or all-season tyres. Kwik Fit are specialists that can help you choose the right tyres for your car.
Drive slower than you usually would when it’s noticeably colder. Even if you don’t see ice, it may still be there. Perhaps leave home a little bit earlier than usual. Thousands of people have taken a pledge to reduce their speed and create a safer road network for everyone. Why not take the pledge yourself? – Tweet #brakepledge to @Brakecharity & @pj_ohare.
Anti-Freeze, de-icer and clever gloves with a built in ice-scraper. Winter motoring accessories are cheap but essential for a safe and convenient drive. It’s difficult to keep up with the latest car gadgets, so we recommend having a chat with your local car accessory shop. Halfords are the undesputed experts in their field so you can rest assured any advice given will be tailored to you.
If you suffer from a break down, have a contingency plan. Ensure that you have appropriate breakdown cover. Many car insurance providers offer this as part of your insurance plan, however if you aren’t covered then it’s relatively affordable. Check out the AA who offer a 24hr service and a very competitive rate.
- If it snows: Start your journey in second gear.
- Wear comfortable and dry footwear.
- Keep an over cautious distance between you and the car in front.
- Ensure your windscreen is clear of condensation, even if it takes a while.
- Plan your journey around as many major roads as possible. They’re less likely to be icy.
Did you find this useful? Then check out our top tips for driving in hot weather here.