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As the weather cools and the frost sets in, drivers are likely to encounter everything from dangerous potholes to ice-skidding when out on the road. According to Kia, 48% of accidents in the winter are caused by skidding. Luckily there are a few things you can do to prevent accidents and make those dark winter drives a bit more bearable.
1. Fit winter tyres
Fitting winter tyres on your car means higher levels of road safety and shorter stopping distances on wet, icy or snowy roads. With a good set of winter tyres, the tread compound heats up at lower rolling temperatures to create grip on cold days, the wider grooves provide more traction on snow and slush and the higher number of slits in the tread blocks create more biting edges to improve braking and surface accelerating.
2. Service your car
It’s also a good idea to get your car fully serviced before the cold sets in. Remember to have the anti-freeze tested at the same time.
Do your own checks including:
- Checking lights are clean and working
- Ensuring the battery is fully charged
- Checking that windows and windscreen wipers are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
- Clearing the roof and sides of the car from snow as necessary to prevent it falling off at high speed and causing an accident to fellow road users
3. Carry an emergency kit
When extreme weather is possible or likely, carrying an emergency kit in your car including a first aid kit, a fully charged mobile phone, a blanket, warm clothes, de-icing equipment and emergency rations is highly recommended.
When preparing your emergency kit, stop and think about what you might want or need if your car was to break down due to the winter weather. If you have mobility issues then take that into account and do not risk going outside if the conditions are too treacherous to allow you to drive safely.
4. Be sensible
Many people underestimate the winter or the cold weather, but having common sense about you is key to getting about easily during this season. The AA recommends a number of useful driving tips for you to follow, including:
- Not driving while fatigued
- Never warming up a car in an enclosed area (such as a closed garage)
- Keeping the petrol line up to at least half full to avoid it freezing up
- Not using cruise control on slippery surfaces
5. Stay calm
Finally, remember that if you do get stranded then it is important not to panic. Call the emergency services and sit tight inside the car until help comes.
With the onset of frozen winters and treacherous roads, many people often consider browsing through apartments for sale and moving to be closer to friends and family to cut out long journeys altogether. If you’re worried about travel, this may be something you want to consider. Retirement home specialists such as McCarthy & Stone provide developments which are in convenient, centralised locations, meaning less reliance on transport.