Drivers are being warned to take care this week as the Met office is predicting a cold snap, with snow and ice on the way in the coming days.
Temperatures across the UK are set to plunge to 2C with a wind-chill factor making it feel so much colder, and severe weather warnings in place. Forecasters are predicting an 80 per cent chance of severe cold and heavy snow.
Driving in severe winter weather poses many challenges. Vehicles can get stuck in snowy conditions, even on familiar roads. Winter weather can also bring other dangers, such as ice. With frost and water on the roads, motorists need to be sure they take care against potentially icy conditions as braking and steering could be affected.
Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com Gemma Stanbury said: “With predictions of a cold snap likely to occur in the next few days, we’re urging motorists to be extra careful when driving. This type of weather requires the most care and preparation if you’re to stay safe and avoid a breakdown.
“When the weather turns bad and you’re out in your vehicle, it can be tempting to put your foot down to drive home as quickly as possible. However, icy roads and excessive speeds spell trouble. Wintery conditions are potentially hazardous for motorists. As well as being more vigilant in these conditions, motorists need to plan their journeys in advance. Leaving home ten minutes earlier in order to de-ice the windscreen and driving carefully will save that potentially dangerous mad rush to work, where accidents could take place.”
Confused.com has put together some tips so drivers can stay safe on the roads:
• Consider changing your tyres seasonally: Fitting winter tyres during the colder months will vastly improve your car’s safety and performance on cold, wet and icy roads.
• Check the tyres before a journey: It is important that tyre tread is well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm as it determines grip. Confused.com would recommend 3mm for extra peace of mind.
• Make sure that car batteries are charged: Batteries use more energy in the winter as they are increasingly powering lights and heaters; it is therefore important to ensure that batteries are well-charged before long journeys.
• Keep Jack Frost at bay: It is important to top up the anti-freeze in the engine’s radiator before long journeys. Frozen windscreens are another side-effect of winter weather. It is a good idea to make sure that the windscreen washer fluid is topped up, preferably with added anti-freeze.
• Avoid being blinded by the light: Late sunrises and early sunsets mean that visibility can be a serious issue for drivers during the winter. In addition to making sure that windscreen wipers are working efficiently and that the fluid is topped up, it is imperative that windscreens are in good condition. Any scratches or dirt marks, on the inside or outside of the windscreen, could accentuate the dazzling effect of the sun’s dazzle and glare.