Winter is firmly here now, and with that conditions on the road can deteriorate. We’ve pulled together five essential tips to ensure a safe and stress-free journey during frosty conditions!
1. Slow down!
When driving in snow and ice, keeping a slower pace is crucial. Reduce your speed and increase the following distance to allow plenty of time to react. Sudden movements, such as sharp turns or jamming on the brakes, can lead to loss of control on slippery surfaces. Slow and steady acceleration and deceleration contribute to a smoother driving experience and help prevent skidding.
2. Check your tyres!
Investing in proper winter tyres can significantly enhance your vehicle's grip on snow and ice-covered roads. Winter tyres are designed with a unique rubber compound that remains pliable in cold temperatures, giving you much better grip on cold roads. Before the winter season begins, ensure that your tyres are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. This small step can make a substantial difference in your vehicle's stability and manoeuvrability.
You could also consider getting all-season tyres. These are a nice halfway-house between Winter and Summer tyres. As Ireland doesn’t experience very severe winters, all-season tyres might be a better fit for you and will be useful for a longer period of time.
The last thing you want in the middle of winter is to be stranded by the roadside if your car breaks down. Make sure you’re covered with our 24/7 Breakdown Assistance this winter. If you already have a policy, then make sure you renew your membership by clicking here.
3. Brake with Care
Braking on icy roads requires a delicate touch. Instead of slamming on the brakes, practice gentle and controlled braking to keep control. If your vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), trust it to do its job. On the off-chance you don’t have ABS, consider pumping the brakes lightly.
Additionally, be mindful of black ice, which is often invisible but extremely slippery. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and presume there is ice. That way, you’re less likely to lose control.
4. Visibility Matters
Snow and sleet can significantly reduce visibility, making it crucial to keep all windows and mirrors clear. Check and replace faulty windshield wipers, and use a high-quality de-icer to clear frost and ice. Keep headlights on even during daylight hours to make sure you’re easier to see. Before leaving, make sure you fully clear your car of any loose snow, including what’s on the roof.
5. Emergency Kit Essentials
Although the chances are slim, you should prepare for getting caught out by having an emergency kit in your car. Make it winter specific, then you can change things up for summer. This kit should include items such as a blanket, flashlight, extra warm clothing, snacks, a first-aid kit, and a fully charged mobile phone. If you do get caught out and have to spend a few hours by the roadside, then these staples will keep you safe and comfortable until help arrives.
Put these winter tips into action to make sure you have a safer and more comfortable winter in the car this year. And remember, you can give yourself peace of mind with AA Breakdown Insurance by clicking here.