The leaves fall and the nights draw near. Winter is coming! This means exciting times like Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, but it can also mean unpredictable weather, traffic jams or dangerous driving conditions.
However, with the quick and simple tricks below, you can easily prepare your car for the challenges ahead and enjoy the winter season safely.
1. Add an emergency kit
Winter driving presents several challenges. Icy roads make braking slippery, foggy conditions impede visibility, and periods of congestion on highways can make a roadside breakdown more likely.
That’s why there’s never been a better time to add an emergency kit to your car. This could include essentials like a spare tire (if you know how to fit yours), blankets, a flashlight or high visibility items, and a mobile phone charger and any details of your roadside breakdown coverage.
You can also include things that are specific to you or your family, like medicine, snacks, water, or entertainment. You don’t need to overload your car, but a few essentials can help give you peace of mind.
Make sure your road coverage is also up to date and that you know the number to call in an emergency.
2. Check (and replace) your tires
Winter road conditions are especially treacherous and are a major contributing factor to the often higher number of accidents in the winter months.
One way to help prevent accidents is to make sure your tires are in good working order and replace them if necessary. This may be a replacement that just ensures the integrity and grip of your tires, or it could be a more specific option.
Winter tires, for example, are made specifically to withstand the harshest winter conditions and temperatures. This may be especially important for anyone living in more rural or remote areas, or those susceptible to heavy snowfall.
Visit a reputable garage for advice and consider investing in the safest, most weather-appropriate tires you can afford.
3. Be energy efficient
A great piece of advice throughout the year, but perhaps especially in winter, is to drive as energy efficient as possible. This helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your car, but it can also save you money and fuel.
Driving energy efficiently can mean selecting the right gear, anticipating the road so sudden gear changes aren’t necessary, reducing wind speeds and much more. For many drivers, it may even mean making the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle! The driving range of electric cars is constantly increasing, making them an increasingly popular choice.
Regardless of the ways you can improve your driving efficiency, winter is a great time to do so so you can save money and stay safe on the roads.
4. Invest in your lights (or keep them clean)
Excellent lights are a must for the winter season. They must be reliable, effective and of course clean!
Add a few minutes to your regular checkups and driving routines to clean your essential lights before and after you drive. This is so that dirt or debris doesn’t accumulate that could obscure them at a crucial time, especially as the sun sets earlier. Falling leaves and frost can also obscure your vision in winter.
Consider investing in new or better lights in preparation for the winter season as well. While there are plenty of other ways to cut down on spending on your car, safety features should never be one of them. Always aim for the best you can afford.
5. Add a winter scent
An easy, fun and inexpensive way to winterize your car is to add a seasonal scent! These can be dangling scented items, a spray, cleansing wipes, and more.
Not only can these items be a great way to keep your car feeling fresh and hygienic, they will also make it a joy to drive. On nights when you may be spending more time in traffic than usual, or have family or young children to entertain, a festive scent can help make the space more pleasant.
With the variety of tips and tricks above, you and your car will be ready for a safe winter season!