Our top tips for winter driving conditions!

We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you in the cold, wintry weather.

  • Never start your vehicles engine and then leave the vehicle unattended. This increases your risk of theft to your vehicle.
  • Prepare for your journey in advance, and expect to leave early. Allow an extra 30 minutes for your journey.
  • Use de-icer / ice scraper to clear ice from windscreens and wing mirrors. Never use warm or boiling water to de-ice your vehicle, this may cause the windscreen to crack or shatter. Water on the ground may freeze, causing it to be a hazard to pedestrians.
  • Check your tyres and the thread depth. There is a minimum legal limit in Ireland, and that is 1.6mm. Ensuring your tyres are in good condition, and inflated to the correct tyre pressure.
  • Change summer tyres to winter tyres.
  • Anticipate “Black Ice” – which is a hazard due to the fact that its pretty much invisible, and difficult to spot. Black Ice is prominent on roads which may be sheltered by tree’s or in an area without a large traffic flow.
  • Never try put down electric windows when frozen, you could cause more damage than good.
  • To help with rubber door seals use a rubber conditioner to stop doors from sticking. Available from all good motoring stores.
  • If possible cover the car with a tarp and pull it off in the morning.
  • Turn off auto lights, wipers, heaters and radio when parking your car overnight so in the morning when starting the engine it will take the extra load off the battery. Don’t forget your vehicle uses alot more battery power in the winter than summer.
  • Check all lights are working on your vehicle. Only use fog lights in dense fog or falling snow. Improper use of fog lights is also a motoring offence.
  • Have a high visibility vest, torch, extra jacket, blanket, spare tyre and drinking water in case of a breakdown. Check you have breakdown cover with your insurance company, don’t wait until you break down. Remember a flat tyre is considered a breakdown. 
  • Avoid journeys if possible, but if you have to travel always have a fully charged mobile phone, and always tell someone of your planned journey and let them know when you arrive.

This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other tips that can be provided. Please feel free to send us your suggestions.

Have you checked out our Vehicle Maintenance article

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By Cork Safety Alerts

Administrator of Cork Safety Alerts.