As the first day of Autumn was yesterday and the clocks are going backwards next month the dark, cold Winter days will be upon us before we know it. Making sure your tyres are ready for the wet and cold conditions is vital. A lack of tyre safety contributes to more than 1200 road accidents a year and also driving with defective tyres can result in hefty penalties, such as £2500 along with three points on the licence! It takes a matter of minutes to check over the tread on your tyres and just recently I had two new front tyres put on before the Winter. It is recommended that your tyres have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring, and certainly no less than 2mm. Also a common myth is that by reducing tyre pressures you can gain more grip – it doesn’t work, and reduces the stability of your vehicle.
I drive down country lanes to take Oscar to school which in the Winter months can be dangerous if the road conditions are wet and slippery. I always drive slowly and cautiously around the corners and having good tyres make all the difference when braking. Making sure my car is as safe as possible is obviously so important especially as I am driving around with Oscar and Archie in the back. Generally the roads are round us are ok to drive on in the wet but if it snows we are pretty stuck. We live at the top of a hill so getting anywhere is near on impossible.
One thing we do always do when purchasing new tyres for my Nissan Qashqai we always get the best ones possible instead of opting for a cheaper alternative. Using point S you can get a quote on a huge range of tyres for your car and then select your nearest fitting centre and then you pay online and then just turn up on the day to have them put on. For instance usually my tyres which are continental’s work out around £160-180 fitted but using the point S website I can get the identical tyre fitted for only £140.84. This makes a huge difference especially if you are replacing more than one tyre at a time. There are also cheaper alternatives to choose from. My nearest fitting centre is only 7 miles away too.
Car safety is so important to me and I hope it is to everyone else to minimise any accidents on the Winter roads. Here are a few top tips to keep your and your family safe in your car over the Winter months:
Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare and warm up the car.
Don’t drive off like in a hurry with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer to get a full view of the road. The amount of people I see driving like this in the mornings drives me mad!
Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving. Did you know stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow?
Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving.
Consider changing to winter or all season tyres – these have a higher silica content in the tread which prevents it hardening at lower temperatures, and therefore gives better grip in cold wet conditions.
Make sure that all the bulbs are working and that the lights are clean. When roads are really mucky you might need to clean lights after every journey. Keep the number plates clean too, as you can be fined if they are dirty and illegible.
Improve vision by making sure that the windscreen is clean both inside and out. Scratches, abrasion and chips on the outside can also worsen the dazzling effect of the sun.
Use air conditioning for faster demisting and to reduce condensation on cold windows.
Antifreeze costs only a few pounds, but a frozen and cracked engine block will cost hundreds of pounds to repair.
Keep at least a quarter of a tank of petrol. Once I got stuck in traffic as it had snowed and barely made it to the petrol station. I panicked so much.
Always carry coats and a blanket in your boot in case you break down and have to wait for a recovery truck. I also carry snacks and a bottle of water in the boot too.
I hope you find these tips useful and don’t forget to check your tyres!
Disclaimer: This post is a collaborative post.