The leaves are falling and the nights are drawing in – winter is coming! That 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 following quick and easy hacks, you can easily prepare your car for the upcoming challenges and enjoy the winter season safely.
1. Add an emergency kit
Driving in winter comes with several challenges. Frosty roads make braking slippery, fog affects visibility and periods of congestion on the roads can make a roadside breakdown more likely.
Because of this, there has never been a better time to add an emergency kit to your car. This can include essentials such as a spare tire (if you know how to fit your own), blankets, a flashlight or any other highly visible item, as well as a cell phone charger and all the details of your roadside assistance.
You may also want to include items specific to you or your family, such as medication, snacks, water, or entertainment. You don’t have to overload your car, but a few key things can help give you peace of mind.
Make sure your road coverage is up to date too and that you know the number to call in an emergency.
2. Check (and replace) your tires
Winter road conditions are particularly treacherous and contribute significantly to the fact that there are often more accidents in the winter months.
One way to avoid accidents is to make sure your tires are in good condition and replace them when necessary. This can be a replacement just to ensure the integrity and grip of your tires, or a more specific option.
Winter tires, for example, are specifically designed to withstand harsher winter temperatures and conditions. This can be especially important for anyone living in more rural or remote areas, or prone to heavy snowfall.
Take advice from a reputable garage and consider investing in the safest, most weatherproof tires you can afford.
3. Be energy efficient
A good tip for the whole year – but perhaps especially in winter – is to drive as energy-efficiently as possible. This helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your car, but it can also save you money and fuel.
Energy-efficient driving can mean choosing the right gear, anticipating the road ahead so sudden speed changes aren’t necessary, reducing wind speed, and more. For many drivers, it may even mean switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle! The range of electric cars is constantly increasing, making them an increasingly popular option.
However you can improve the efficiency of your driving, winter is a great time to do it so you can save money and stay safe on the roads.
4. Invest in your lighting (or keep it clean)
Excellent lights are a must for the winter season. They should be reliable, effective and of course clean!
Add a few minutes to your regular driving checks and routines to clean your all-important lights before and after you ride. This is so it doesn’t accumulate dirt or debris that could obscure them at a crucial time – especially as the sun goes down earlier. Falling leaves and frost can also tend to affect your visibility in winter.
Also, consider investing in new or better lights in preparation for the winter season. While there are many additional ways to reduce spending on your car, safety features should never be one of them. Always strive for the best you can afford.
5. Add a wintry scent
An easy, fun, and affordable way to prepare your car for winter is to add a seasonal scent! These can come in the form of hanging scented items, a spray, cleaning wipes, and more.
Not only can these items help keep your car feeling fresh and hygienic, but they can also make driving a pleasure. On evenings when you’re spending more time than usual in traffic, or have family or children to entertain, a festive scent can help brighten the room.
With the tips and tricks above, you and your car will be set for a safe winter season!