Driving in winter is no joke, and tricky conditions on the road can make even the simplest journeys take longer. It is therefore more important than ever for motorists to take their time and ensure their vehicle is safe and ready to face potential hazards.
At Cobra, we know all too well the threat that wintry conditions can pose to drivers, particularly those who rely on their car to get to and from work. We've therefore compiled this list of top tips to help you stay safe on the road. With the blustery weather set to continue, it couldn’t come at a better time.
1. Make preparations
Before embarking on a journey, ensure your car is in the best condition possible. Give yourself a list of checks to carry out, such as ensuring windscreen wipers are working, exterior lights are shining and oil and washer fluid levels are high, to ensure your journey runs smoothly. Remember to always check that you have enough fuel, as this will limit the risk of a breakdown on a country road in wintry conditions.
2. Power checks
Check whether or not your battery is working before setting off on a journey. If the car won’t start immediately, try five-second bursts in between attempts to give the battery chance to recover. It is essential that you never run the vehicle’s electrical systems for too long, so turn the heater fan down and ensure the heated rear window is off when any ice has been cleared. If you are having trouble starting your vehicle, a Cobra® JumPack CPP 8000 is ideal.
3. Use antifreeze
When using antifreeze - which should be every motorist’s best friend in winter - always use a 50-50 combination of antifreeze and water in the cooling system. This will provide maximum protection down to -34 degrees centigrade. Without this product, your car could be at serious risk of sustaining engine damage through freezing.
4. Keep the windscreen clear
It is important to keep the windscreen and other windows clear at all times. In winter, and especially when it snows - there is a greater risk of the elements restricting visibility. So, always clean any snow from the roof of your car - and from all other windows - to prevent it falling onto the windscreen and obstructing your view of the road.
5. Check your tyres
Always, always, always check the condition of your car’s tyres before heading out in winter. Make sure there is enough tread for safe driving in slippery conditions, and ensure you look for any damage such as splits or bulges. The AA recommends at least 3mm of tread for winter driving, and 2mm is the absolute minimum that drivers should be working with.
6. Invest in a dash cam
While a dash cam cannot prevent accidents on the road, installing one will ensure you are well equipped to act if something does happen. There are endless benefits to having a dash cam, making this equipment every driver’s best friend. Check out our full range here.
7. Keep a survival kit
To help you out in times of need, equip yourself with a vehicle survival kit. This should include items such as boots, a first aid kit, a shovel, warm clothes, a blanket, a torch, an ice scraper, de-icer and a phone charger or portable power bank to ensure you're prepared should you be stranded in bad weather.