Top 6 winter driving tips

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Driving in Leeds in winter can be time consuming, difficult and even dangerous, but preparing in the right way can help to make it a little easier. Depending on the severity of the weather, whether it be snow, ice, rain or otherwise, various precautions can be made to help make your morning commute that little bit easier. From before you set foot in the car to how to react to the road ahead, read on for our top tips on driving safely in winter.

1. Don’t drive

Okay, so this may sound like a strange one, but it’s worth considering how important it is for you to drive if weather conditions are particularly bad. If you can get public transport or re-schedule your plans for another time so that you don’t have to leave the house, then that’s the safest option. However, this may not be an option available for everyone.

2. Dress appropriately

If you can’t avoid leaving your house, then you need to make sure you’re fully prepared for driving in snow, ice and other extreme weathers. Although many modern cars come with various heating appliances, being prepared for a potential breakdown is important. A hat, scarf, pair of gloves and coat are all essentials if you’re venturing out in the snow. Also, avoid bulky footwear that can bring in snow. Normal, comfortable footwear that won’t get too wet and cause your feet to slip on the pedals are the safest option.

3. Prepare your car

Now that you’re fully prepared, you need to give your car the same treatment. Ensuring that you clear all windows on the car, including wing mirrors, front, side and rear – will ensure that you have a clear field of vision for when you’re on the roads. The best way to do this is by either using a scraper, warm water, de-icer spray or by turning the engine and hot air conditioning on. Be sure to clear the roof of any snow as well, as this can fall forward onto your windscreen once you begin your journey.

4. Drive carefully

Though obvious, there are specific precautions that should be taken to ensure you drive safely when in the snow. Keeping the pedals covered at all times is important. Whether accelerating or braking, keeping control of the wheels and not coasting will prevent any chances of sliding on wet or icy surfaces. Reducing your speed as well as increasing the distance between traffic will also help you to stay prepared for anything on the road ahead. Trying your best to not stop on a hill is also advised, as starting on hills can encourage wheel spin – which may result in you getting stuck.

5. Keep your tank well fuelled

Driving safely in winter is as much about how you maintain your car as it is about how you control it. Keeping fuel levels above at least half way is always advised, as this prevents moist air from freezing inside. Too much moist air can freeze the fuel line, which will prevent your car from starting. Topping up your fuel more regularly in the winter will ensure your engine remains in good working order, no matter the weather.

6. Equip your tyres

Your tyres are one of the most important components for keeping control of your car driving in winter. Winter tyres have a deeper tread and are more suitable for driving in snow when it is particularly deep. Even if you don’t require specialist tyres, it is still recommended that your tyres are at least 3mm for winter driving, and certainly no less than 2mm. Good, unworn tyres make all the difference when extra grip is required, and will keep you safe when driving in winter this year.

Winter driving safety is important for drivers of all levels of experience, as it can be unpredictable and challenging. Following our winter driving tips, from the clothes you wear to the way you treat your car, will ensure that you stay safe on the roads this winter.

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