How to stay car-safe this winter

Breakdowns are more common in the winter, so instead of joining the long wait for assistance, why not avoid breaking down in the first place?

Britain’s winter driving is notorious, not least of all because of our general lack of preparation. Forgivable, given the temporary nature of our weather, but that doesn’t mean we cannot continue to try to stay prepared for the journey ahead.

So how can you stay safe in your car and avoid breakdowns during the winter months?

Check your tyres

Tyres are one of the most important things to check before you set off in winter. Make sure they are in good condition and that they have the tread to tackle slippery roads. It’s also important to ensure they have enough air, or a suitable tyre pressure for the road ahead.

Check your fuel

Being stuck at the side of the road in winter is nobody’s idea of fun. Many motorists get caught out because they haven’t checked the basics. So make sure you are topped up with plenty of fuel in case you have to take a diversion or get caught in really bad traffic.

Check the weather

Although it may seem all weather during winter is “bad”, it doesn’t mean you still can’t control when you set off and ensure you don’t get caught in very treacherous condition. Snow is especially hazardous and can hit road users very quickly.

Check your route

Winter brings extra dangers such as ice, snow, and poor visibility. Some areas that were passable may now be tricky, such as country roads, hills, and low lying routes. Plan your route carefully when driving, so you don’t get caught out or even worse, stuck.

Check your oil

Breakdown companies are always surprised to find as many as a third of UK drivers not checking their oil, especially in the winter. Low oil levels can leave you vulnerable to unexpected breakdowns and could cause significant damage to your engine.

Check your coolant and screen wash

Not enough coolant can lead to a frozen or overheated engine. It shouldn’t need topping up, but it’s good to check, especially for longer journeys. Screen wash is also important as winter conditions kicks up mud and salt used to thaw roads. Don’t water it down either, as this will leave it vulnerable to freezing.

Check your electrics

Your lights are heavily used during winter to deal with dark conditions and bad weather. Before setting off, turn on your car’s lights and walk around to check they are all still working and can be seen easily, free of the extra dirt and snow built up during winter.

Check your security

Winter brings extra dangers for drivers, and dashcams are especially important to capture evidence after an accident. It can be used to prove fault and help insurance companies process claims. Our Observer Dashcam Range captures the evidence you may one day need, with lots of helpful features like auto-start, night recording, and collision detection

Check yourself

It’s really important to stay alert when driving, even more in bad weather and darker winter conditions. Keep the car well ventilated, keep sunglasses in your car for glare, take regular breaks from driving, and don’t partake in any journey that isn’t completely necessary.