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Cold Weather Motoring

Does driving during the winter months sometimes fill you with anxiety or even fear?

For some, it’s often a reason prolonged periods are spent stuck in the house alone. Cold, wet weather, snow, ice and the darker mornings and afternoons provide us all with much more dangerous driving conditions to contend with throughout the winter months.

There are however, a number of things we can do to prepare better for the coming months. These will provide a greater level of confidence and reassurance for motorists of all ages and abilities.

Visibility

A common theme throughout British winter weather is the wet! Be it from freezing rain or snow, we are often getting in and out of our cars with damp clothes and wet shoes, Naturally, the first thing we all do is hit the heater blowers to full and switch on the demister to help clear the resulting misting up of the glass.

All round vision is absolutely imperative to safe driving. Being able to see other road users, pedestrians and of course the road itself should go without saying and yet we all see cars and vans driving along with fogged up glass and drivers trying to see through a tiny gap in the screen.

Tips

Make sure your internal glass is spotlessly clean from the outset. One effective way is to use a glass cleaner and newspaper as a cloth. This seems to provide a really effective way of removing all of the grease and road film – but does take a little effort!

Don’t be tempted to use your hands or a cloth to wipe your glass when it’s misted up either! You’ll just push road film and dirt around the glass and make it even more difficult to clear. With clean glass, simply allow a few extra minutes before you set out in order for your car to rise to working temperature and fully clear the misting itself.

Lighting

Ensuring you vehicle is well lit externally and with properly aligned headlights is another must. Before any journey, switch on the lights and walk around your vehicle to check they are all functioning properly.

Sometimes, modern vehicles have plastic headlight lens covers. Years of use and weathering can cause these to become somewhat cloudy. This can have a serious effect on your night vision.

Tips

Try thoroughly cleaning the lenses yourself. If this doesn’t clear them, call upon a good vehicle detailer or valeter who will likely have the necessary chemicals and equipment to restore them back to full health!

A low sun during the winter days can make vehicles difficult to see – especially on wet roads too. Consider driving at all times with sidelights on during the winter months to improve your visibility to other motorists.

Cold Weather Tyres

Did you know there are tyres manufactured specifically to improve your winter driving safety? Unlike summer type tyres – the ones most cars in the UK are fitted with as standard – which lose performance and grip at low temperatures, a winter tyre is designed to maintain improved grip and perform best at temperatures below 7C.

A winter tyre has a more flexible tread that cuts its way into snow and binds to the road in the wet. Braking distances can be dramatically reduced in all weather conditions. These tyres give a real sense of surefootedness.

Many motorists are now opting to remove summer tyres during early November and replace them with winter alternatives. Usable summer tyres are then stored until the spring for re-fitment.

While there would of course be an initial price to pay for a set of tyres, by alternating their use annually, both sets can then last for many seasonal changes ahead.

And don’t forget to keep pressures regularly checked and adjusted!

Hometyre offer a mobile tyre supply and fit service that bring the fitting centre directly to your door at a date and time of your choosing. Competitively priced and with thousands of tyres to choose from, there is no better or more convenient way to have your tyres replaced or repaired. Tyres supplied and fitted for cars, sports, 4x4, motorhome, caravan and trailer.

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