Winter is already here and for the ones caught by surprise, here is some simple advice for driving safely in cold conditions:
Check the working condition of the battery: you can do this two ways. The simple check is by starting the engine at low temperatures and by measuring how long it takes for the engine to start. If the battery isn’t working properly, the starting time will be quite long indicating that it’s time to replace the battery. The more “complicated” check is to go to automotive service. Ask the employees to check the battery and they will tell you if something is wrong. I strongly recommend you do this before the temperatures drop too much.
Check the tires and look especially after signs of wear and tear. Make sure to have the appropriate type of tire: for the cold season use mud & snow tires and for the warm season use summer tires. Remember that you do this not only because in some countries it’s mandatory, but it is safer for you to use the appropriate tire set.
Make sure to have some important items in your car: for the cold season keep in your car some gloves, a cloth, an ice wiper for the windows, two spare windscreen wipers, chains for tires, a small shovel, a brush, and an ice melting spray. All these items are extremely useful when starting the frozen car in the morning.
At night, covert the windscreen of your car with a large cloth. By doing this, you will prevent the windscreen from freezing and it will be easier for you to drive in the morning.
When driving on ice or snow remember to follow some simple advice: use mostly lower gears; always adapt your speed to the road conditions; keep a safe distance from the driver in front of you; respect the other road users and the traffic laws.
Make sure to properly clean your car. Don’t let the snow on the roof in any quantity and always make sure that you have cleaned the headlights and the braking lights. By doing so, you are more visible to other road users and you can avoid some serious consequences.
For long trips in winter conditions make sure to have the fuel tank at least half filled, a blanket in the car, and some bottles of water. As you can see, it isn’t that hard to be prepared for winter conditions. Don’t underestimate the power of winter, always keep calm, think clearly, and respect the other road users.