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As we move into the colder, darker months, it’s important to make sure your car is safe and ready. Here are some ways you can keep yourself and others safe.

 

Tyres

Tyre upkeep is important all year round, but the cold weather means they are especially important. Wet leaves, or excessive rain can be super dangerous if your tyres aren’t up to scratch.

When driving conditions are more extreme, you should be double checking they’re up to a good legal standard. The tyre tread on a car should be at a minimum of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the breadth of the thread and around the tyre circumference [1]. For more information, and to get your tyres prepped for autumn, check out our tyre guide.

During wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double whatever they are in dry conditions, due to tyres having less grip on the road. This means you should leave a larger gap between you and the vehicle in from of you.

 

 

Lights

Cars on the road in the fog

When the sun sets earlier and earlier, your lights become more essential. This is not only so you can see around you, but so others can see you coming. Remember, the rain or spray coming from other vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen by other drivers. Here’s how you can check all lights are in working order.

  • To test your break lights, you can park in a safe and legal space, press your hazard button and walk around the vehicle to check all lights are working.
  • To check your headlights and fog light, simply put them on and walk round the front and back of the vehicle.

Make sure your lights are clean and free from debris and dirt, that way they will work at full capacity. [2]

 

Windows and windscreen

Close up of driver hands driving in road trip while the sunset is reflecting on the windscreen

With a lower sun in the later months, a dirty windscreen can reduce your visibility of the road ahead. This makes it even more important to keep your windows clean.

Make sure your windscreen wipers are fitted correctly, making contact with the windscreen down the whole blade. You want as much of your windscreen visible as possible. That goes for the back wiper too! Run your finger down wiper blades and check for any gaps. That way you can replace them before you set off.

Refill your screen wash up to the line, so if there is any dirt on your windscreen, you can quickly get it removed.

Check for any cracks or chips in the glass, as these can get worse in very cold weather.

 

De-icing

Removing snow from car windshield. Clean car window in winter from snow.

On frosty mornings, allow extra time to defrost and demist your windows before setting off.

It’s a legal requirement to be able to see out of your entire front and rear windows as well as in your mirrors.

It’s important to have working heaters, de-icing spray and a scraper to hand to speed the process along. Ensure you have anti-freeze in your vehicles radiator and windscreen wash to tackle icy mornings.

 

Drive Safe!

 

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[1] The Highway Code – Annex 6. Vehicle maintenance, safety and security – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

[2] The Highway Code – Driving in adverse weather conditions (226 to 237) – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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GoSkippy Insurance is arranged and administered by Somerset Bridge Insurance Services Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 477112). Registered in England and Wales (No. 6334001). Registered office: Lysander House, Catbrain Lane, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, BS10 7TQ.

 

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