In winter, rain, snowfall and fog greatly reduce the visibility of vehicle drivers. The very low temperatures also favour the formation of icy patches which increase the risks of loss of control and road departures. Faced with these dangers, motorists are invited to be cautious, to drive more responsibly and to adopt certain measures. So gives you some advices to reduce the risks of road accidents during winter.
What precautions should I take before driving in winter?
To drive safely in winter and reduce the risk of accidents, you must first make sure that your car has no problems. Then you need to equip yourself properly and adopt good driving habits during the trip.
Check the condition of the vehicle before driving
In the snow or during any type of weather, the reliability of your vehicle is a guarantee of safety that can save you from an accident. Unfortunately, the car’s power and ignition systems and battery are very sensitive to cold weather. It is therefore essential to check that they are working properly at the beginning of the winter period and at a good frequency until the end of the season. Windshield wiper blades also tend to deteriorate quickly under the effect of frost.
You should also check their condition and the level of the windshield washer antifreeze fluid to prevent the reservoir from emptying in full circulation. Make sure the heating and defrosting system is working properly. Tire pressure, signal lights and the visibility of the windshield, mirrors and windows should also be checked before driving.
To do some technical checks, you do not necessarily need to go to your garage. All you need is a car diagnostic case from among the models that iCarsoft France offers for your car. You will find a wide range of single-brand and multi-brand diagnostic tools for individuals and professional mechanics. The interest of the car diagnostic kit is that it is very practical, easy to use and efficient. You can perform a complete scan of your car in a few minutes to inform you about its condition before taking the road with peace of mind.
Install the essential winter equipment for your vehicle
To improve the handling of their car on snowy or icy roads, some decide to opt for winter tires, others choose chains and snow socks for their vehicle. All these solutions help to avoid the dangers of using summer tires in winter and improve the car’s grip on the road. If you choose snow tires, we advise you not to wait until the first snowflakes fall before installing them. You can do so as early as mid-October. If you choose snow chains, make sure you always put them in your trunk when you leave the house. Also, learn how to install them properly for your safety.
It is also necessary to wear comfortable clothing when driving your car in winter so as not to restrict your movements. Also, prepare a cold weather “survival kit” consisting of:
Gloves are also important in a vehicle’s survival kit.
Follow the recommendations and rules of the road
Snow and ice increase the braking distance of vehicles. For this reason, it is recommended that drivers maintain a greater than usual safety distance from each other. It is also important to drive at a reasonable speed even with winter tires. The road surface can change its grip constantly due to wind, water and snow, especially in sub-zero temperatures. You must therefore remain cautious at all times until the end of your journey.
experts advise against using cruise control on cars during this season. The system may not detect the change in road grip, which can be detrimental. Also, avoid making sudden maneuvers and always give way to service vehicles for safety.
In case of fog or snowfall, you can use the front and rear fog lights in addition to the high beam. In some cases (heavy snowfall, rainfall), you should use low beams instead to avoid dazzling other drivers. Always take the time to find out about the weather and traffic conditions before you drive.
How to maintain your vehicle in winter?
Cars can suffer a lot of damage in winter due to snowfall and especially frost. For example, the accumulation of sand, dirty snow, salt and mud increases the risk of corrosion of the bodywork. It is therefore necessary to wash the car regularly to keep it clean. To prevent ice from forming on the lock after washing the vehicle during a period of sub-zero temperatures, we recommend protecting it with tape. Before going to bed, it is also advisable to coat the door seals with petroleum jelly to avoid breaking them after a night of freezing.
To reduce the risk of scratching your windshield, use a painter’s knife instead of a plastic tool to de-ice it. You can also reduce frost build-up by rubbing a slice of onion on the window every night. Before starting the vehicle the next day, you can clean the streaks with the wiper. To prevent the car from fogging up, soak a cloth in dishwashing liquid and let it dry. Then turn the heater on full blast and clean the windows.
In winter, use a suitable oil (which does not thicken in the cold) to avoid starting problems. Also, follow the advice of road safety experts to ensure the integrity of your family, other road users and vehicles. To see if your car is in good condition, adopt one of the models of car diagnostic case. You will be sure to drive safely in winter.