Date Posted: 06-12-2018
‘Tis the season for nights-in and those Christmas TV specials. Which means it’s not ideal to be on the road right now, with harsh weather brewing for Britain. It’s time to get ready for proper winter driving again.
We’ve gathered some Top Winter Driving Tips to get yourself and your car prepared for when the ice and snow come. They are tips, not recommendations and they are advice to help you keep safe on the road… and could make those sub-zero mornings a little easier to tackle. We’ve also included some tips specifically for our EV customers!
Some of this list has been gathered from RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and specifically their winter driving factsheet. You can find a link here. We couldn’t think of a better authority on the subject.
You could be adding 20 minutes to your morning if you’re not prepared, so here are some tips to save some valuable minutes and set you off safely.
01 Get hold of some De-Icer!
Never use boiling water to clear the ice, as the sudden temperature change could shatter your windscreen. De-icer will also unfreeze your doors and locks – so it’s an absolute must for winter. You’ll find our deal for two 600ml cans for £6, next time you visit a Welcome Break WHSmith and forecourt. Grab them and don’t regret it!
02 Bag those wing mirrors!
Place plastic bags on the wing mirrors and tighten with a rubber band. We all know how long they take to demist and defrost. It will take 2 minutes the night before and get you moving quickly the next morning!
03 Demist with Shaving Cream!
No, seriously! Apply a thin layer of Shaving Cream to the inside of the windows and then wipe clean. The residue will prevent mist building up on your windows!
04 Check your tyres!
Not many of us can afford winter tyres, so ensure your tyres are up to the job. UK law requires a minimum tread of 1.6mm, so ensure your tread is comfortably more than this. Bald patches are lethal and could leave you liable to a hefty fine.
05 Get that snow off the car!
Use a broom to sweep the roof, bonnet, boot and lights to ensure you avoid snow causing any issues as you set out!
06 Raise those wipers before a freeze!
Switching on frozen wipers can burn your motor out. Some suggest wrapping them in a plastic bag or ‘a pair of socks’ to keep the blades clear!
07 Keep the fuel tank near to full.
If you do get stuck, you’ll need the fuel to keep the car warm.
08 Ensure the car battery is in good condition
… and switch off everything before you start the car. It will take the strain off the battery.
09 Keep the mobile phone charged!
…and keep a charger in the car. You need to be in contact wherever you are.
10 Keep an emergency kit in the boot.
This will include extra-clothing, boots, tow-rope, de-icer, screen wash, shovel and socks… they can offer vital grip over your shoes in icy conditions. See the RoSPA check list for more details.
Our advice to all our customers is only make the journeys you have to. However, we appreciate many of us can’t convince the boss it was the wrong kind of snow and family life means we need to keep things moving.
There are two basic rules here – drive appropriately for the conditions and be prepared if you get stuck.
01 Slow your speed
Always. For rain, ice and snow… the more time you have to think and brake, the more likely you’ll stay in control.
02 Drive smoothly
No harsh acceleration, braking or steering.
03 Give plenty of room
You might need 10 times the braking distance in January than you do in July.
04 Use your gears to slow you down on ice
Sudden braking in sub-zero conditions can be lethal. Keep it smooth and controlled.
05 If you get stuck, don’t leave the vehicle
We hope you checked your emergency kit before you left! Use additional clothing to keep warm and don’t rely on the engine and risk running out of fuel. Of course, contact your breakdown services from your mobile.
And finally, we’ve gathered some interesting tips from Plug-in Magazine for our rapidly growing community of EV customers.
01 If you have a garage, use it
If you can keep the car warmer overnight, you’ll use less power warming it up the next day.
02 Use grid power to warm the car up
Don’t unplug until the minute you’re leaving. If you have a mobile app to start warming the car before you step outside, use it!
03 Don’t use too much battery keeping the car warm
Heating up the cabin takes a lot of power. This might sound ‘nannying’ but using more efficient ways to keep warm, such as seat heaters, will give you a lot more range. Also consider what you wear. Don’t venture out in a T-shirt and lose as much as 30% of your range trying to keep warm.
A warm Welcome Break!
Giving yourself a break on the journey this winter goes without saying and a warm Welcome Break awaits all of you. With all the hot food and drink choices you need, driving essentials such as screen wash and de-icer and time to relax, recharge and take the journey slowly and sensibly.
Safe driving and see you soon!