Aveley Garage & M.O.T. Centre

Get Your Car Ready for Driving This Winter

For a lot of us, the cold months represent a lot of work—we have to deal with ice, snow, and sleet. Not to mention, weather-related accidents are likely to happen during the cold months. A great deal of car crashes in the country occur because of conditions like rain, sleet, snow, fog, ice, and wet pavements.

 

While one would think that ice and snow are the most dangerous driving hazards during winter, reports show that weather-related accidents are likely to occur during rainfall or on wet pavements. That is why vehicle owners are advised to work on getting all repairs done before the first fall of snow.

What are the common causes of car accidents during winter?

Below are the common causes of car accidents during winter and the top reasons why vehicle servicing should be a priority.

 

Rain

Contrary to popular belief, rain is more responsible for more crash fatalities than snow throughout the country over the years. Relevant data shows that rain-related crashes result in thousands of deaths and injuries each year. It increases the risk of crashes the most in the morning, particularly during rush hours.

 

It also increases the risk of these crashes more in rural areas than urban areas. This is probably because motorists are driving at higher speeds and are less cautious driving in wet conditions than in ice, sleet, or snow. Another possible cause is lane submersion due to standing water.

 

Rain is also to be blamed for slick roads. This applies if there has been an extended period without precipitation. Oil residue can build up over time, making the roads extra slippery during periods of sudden rainfall.

 

Ice

One of the top causes of winter-weather car accidents are icy roads. They change the way motorists handle their vehicles. Motorists have to be ready to react if they encounter an icy road and are advised to slow down.

 

When driving icy roads, braking or accelerating should be avoided as much as possible. Motorists shouldn’t slam on their brakes if they come across a surprise patch of ice or black ice. The safest thing to do in situations like this is to coast over the patch and accelerate once they are clear of it.

 

However, it’s entirely possible to find oneself sliding. If you find yourself in such a situation, you have to steer the same way the front tires are trying to go. This is to regain control of them.

 

Once control is regained, the wheel should be gently steered in the direction you want to go. You don’t want to find yourself spinning around, so avoid jerking the steering wheel in either direction.

 

Snow and Slush

Driving on roads that are covered in snow and slush is not a pleasant experience. When the ploughs haven’t had a chance to clear the road and the pavement is covered in deep tracks, no one wants to go out and drive. However, there are days when we really have to drive to an important appointment.

 

If possible, stay in the tracks of the vehicles that have travelled in front of you. If you hit a deep pile of slush, your vehicle can easily get pulled up.

 

How to prepare a car for the cold weather?

The cold winter months can take their toll on vehicles, big or small. Difficult driving conditions often catch motorists by surprise. With a bit of planning, motorists in both rural and urban areas in the country can ensure their vehicle is ready for the wintry weather.

 

Below are essential vehicle servicing tips to stay road-safe during winter.

 

Check oil levels

The first thing to do before driving icy roads is checking that the oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on the car’s dipstick. Vehicles that are low on oil are more at risk of engine damage and breakdown. That is why checking the oil level once your car is fully warmed up should be the first thing you should do.

 

Also, bear in mind that too much oil can be just as bad as too little. You should have plenty fuel in your tank before you hit the roads. If your fuel light comes on, don’t try and eek out the last few miles so as not to end up stranded on the side of the road.

 

Test the battery

The main cause of vehicle breakdowns during winter is a flat or faulty battery. Remember, the risk of battery failure is greater in cold weather. Look out for warning signs of battery failure such as the engine turning over more slowly than usual or the red battery light flickering when you’re driving.

 

Aside from engine and brake repairs, it’s also crucial to have the battery fixed. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to get professional vehicle repairs.

 

Pay attention to dashboard lights

Warning lights on dashboards are often overlooked. Get to know what the warning lights on your dashboard mean. If one appears on the dashboard, you might want to have your car checked as soon as possible.

 

Is your car ready for winter?

With winter closing in, have your vehicle checked at Aveley Garage and MOT Centre. From brake and clutch repairs to engine replacements, we provide vehicle services to make sure your car is winter-ready. If you’re within a 15-mile radius of RM15 4BP and need vehicle servicing, we can gladly assist you in fixing your car before the cold winter months arrive.

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