It could be worse. Seriously, it could. We don’t mean to paint such a grim picture. It’s just how winter can be at times. Take the scene above. Imagine the car had no antifreeze. Or you just poured hot water on the iced over windscreen, causing that stone chip you’ve been meaning to get fixed to grow, cracks like spiders legs spreading across the screen. The good news is much of this can be avoided. Apart from the moaning children anyway. They’ll always find something. For the rest... read on:
Before you set off:
Take a look online and check out the road conditions. If it looks like there might be some issues, then leave earlier than you normally would.
Check your wiper blades.
Chances are you're going to need them so make sure they're up to the job. Wiper blades are cheap enough to replace and do an important job.
Is your battery ok?
If it has been struggling in summer, it’ll will almost certainly have issues in winter. The chemical reaction your battery needs to work properly gets slowed in cold weather, making them sluggish.
Check your lights.
You might notice if the front lights aren’t working as well as they should but you’ll likely have no idea if the rear ones do or don’t. Give them a quick once over (or get those whining passengers to check whether they're going while you work the controls).
Keep windscreens and mirrors clean.
It can help with reducing glare from the low sun, which can be a real major safety issue.
Pack an Emergency Kit.
Food, drink, torch. Maybe one of those keep-you-warm emergency blankets that looks like super-sized tin foil. Whatever you think you might need if the worst was to happen and you get stuck somewhere in the cold.
You guessed this was coming - right? You need to make sure your tyres have enough tread depth and are inflated correctly. The legal limit might be 1.5mm but we highly recommend swapping your tyres over at 3mm.
On the road
Take your time.
Remember the conditions may mean your normal driving style needs to be altered to better suit the winter roads.
Accelerate a little slower. Brake a little earlier. Be as smooth as you can. It’ll help if the roads are a bit more slippery than normal.
Increase your braking distance.
Take the cautious approach. Leave some more room behind the vehicle in front, knowing that slippery roads can make braking distance much, much longer.
Use daytime running lights or side lights.
A grey day and a bit of road spray can dramatically decrease visibility. It’s easy enough to flick your lights on to help others see you.
Use the air conditioning.
It might be fun for your kids to be able to draw on the windows with their fingers but it means visibility is a bit poor. Annoy them and make their dinosaur pictures disappear.
Of course, none of the above will completely help avoid winter related issues. You’re still going to accidentally step in that puddle when you get out the car. The kids will still moan about something. You’ll still get frustrated trying to get them in the car seats when they have big winter jackets on. So you’ll want them to take them off before they climb in. But then they'd moan they’re cold.
Sometimes it might just be easier to stay at home. But where’s the fun in that eh. Stay warm and stay safe out there.