There are many reasons why accidents occur, and most can be avoided. Below are some points which may keep YOU from having an accident.
- Leaves falling on the roads at this time of year can make stopping your car very dangerous.
- You should always keep an eye on the outside temperature (most cars have a readout on the dashboard). If the temperature shows + 3c then the road might very well be icy.
- Temperatures can change very rapidly while driving from one place to another and consequently the road conditions can change to a dangerous state in a matter of minutes.
- Keep your distance from the car ahead of you. In winter conditions many more accidents occur by cars slamming in to the vehicle in front while trying to stop.
- Dark and wet conditions make us want to hurry home, but slow down and get home safely.
Prepare your car for the winter conditions.
- Your car tyres should have a reasonable depth of tread. The legal tyre tread limit is 1.6mm, (in Ireland). It would be more preferable to have at least 3 to 4 mm when heading in to the winter period as the better the tread on your tyre the better your car will stop when braking.
- Tyres should have tread evenly over each tyre otherwise they are not legal, and will not allow you stop your car safely.
- Make sure the wheel alignment/tracking is checked regularly as this will ensure even tyre ware and longer life.
- Have your brakes checked to ensure the car’s braking system is braking evenly between all the wheels.
- Check all your lights are correctly working as you may be doing a lot more night time driving. Keep them clean to be seen!
Don’t be caught napping during those cold dark winter days – be prepared!
- Check that your battery is good enough to give you that extra power needed to start your car during those cold days ahead.
- Have all the engine hoses and belts checked for cracking and leaks as the frosty conditions can cause serious damage to your engine if the coolant leaks out and your engine overheats.
- Ensure the engine coolant is at the correct level. If your car has a cooling system which uses antifreeze, make sure the correct amount is in the system.
- Check and replace wiper rubbers if necessary. You need a clean windscreen and good visibility during the these dark days to stay safe.
- Put some antifreeze solution into your windscreen washer reservoir and always keep it topped up. You use it a lot more due to the mucky roads in winter.
- Try and keep your fuel tank as full as possible at all times, you never know when you might be stuck in bad weather and might not be able to get fuel when needed.
Winter driving is less fun and more dangerous than summer driving, so be prepared with your car and take a little more time to get there safely.