DRIVERS need to make sure their car is set up for winter conditions or risk being fined up to £2,500.
Snow and ice can make driving difficult, but there are things motorists can do to make their journey a little easier – not to mention safer.
Not only will driving carefully and keeping your distance from other drivers will keep you safe on the roads this winter.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take extra precautions before a vehicle hits the road.
Hugo Griffiths of car buying website Carwow says there are simple tips drivers can follow if snow and ice are forecast.
Prepare the car before driving
Make sure you have your vehicle checked before you begin your journey.
Windshields can get dirty in winter conditions, so you need to clean the screen.
“Check your car’s oil levels – including oil, screen cleaner and brake fluid – and make sure they are within the specified limits,” says Hugo.
“Adding coolant with antifreeze will help prevent pipes from cracking or corroding in cold weather.”
🔵 Read our Highway Code rule change blog for the latest updates
Keep an emergency winter kit
No motorist has a plan for breakdown, but it does happen and often happens at the most inconvenient times.
It is best to keep one first aid kit in the car as a precaution, especially if it’s dark and the temperature plummets.
It’s also worth keeping sanitizer in the pack so you’re ready for those chilly mornings.
A torch, a first aid kit and some emergency food and drinks can also help, says Hugo, while keeping deodorant and scrapers clean in the car will make the chilly mornings start. less tired head.”
Check your tires
Most drivers will tend to forget to check their tires, but this can be a costly mistake, especially in winter.
If your tires aren’t scuffed, you’re more likely to slip on the road – and you could be fined, too.
In the UK and Europe, tires must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the center three-quarters of the tyre, as experts recommend 3mm.
Having a tire under 1.6mm or going bald can land you a fine of up to £2,500 per tire – that’s £10,000 if all four are bald.
You can also get three penalty points added to your license.
Although most areas in the UK do not have arctic conditions, if you are concerned it might be worth the investment in winter tires.
Hugo said:Winter tires well worth considering, especially if you travel high distances or live in areas prone to extreme weather.
“Winter tires have deeper grooves than summer tires, allowing them to transfer water and snow more efficiently, while their rubber compounds grip better in colder temperatures.
“Even so, all-season tires are well worth investigating if you don’t want this complexity and expense.”
Keep your car clean
Car license plates need to be read at all times.
Plates must be clear enough to be read Automatic license plate recognition (ANPR) camera.
If they are unreadable, motorists can claim themselves with a £1,000 fine.
Check your discs, and if they’re covered in snow or dirt, wash them off before driving.
“Clean your car, especially the windshield, headlights and license plates,” says Hugo.
“Clear visibility is all the more important during the wet and overcast winter months.”
Driving in snow and ice can reduce a driver’s grip.
If you jerk suddenly, this can cause your vehicle to lose grip and control on the road.
Causing an accident due to careless driving, even in bad weather conditions can see the driver fined.
Drivers can be fined “unlimited” and fined 3 to 9 points.
“Above all, it’s important to drive smoothly in snow and ice, adjusting your speed to the conditions,” says Hugo.
Keep your distance from other drivers
The old saying is: only a fool would break the two-second rule – but you need to leave a larger gap when the weather conditions are worse.
Keep one good distance between you and the driver in front.
If you need to stop suddenly, it may take longer to come to a stop on ice than in normal road conditions.
“It can take up to ten stops on the ice, so adjust your rear distance accordingly,” says Hugo.
Be careful when driving on hills
When driving on hills, it’s best to avoid stopping when it’s snowing or freezing.
If you think you might have to stop on a hill, wait at the bottom or top before going any further to avoid stopping.
Go slow when driving up and down hills, and keep your vehicle in control at all times.
“When going downhill, slow down gradually by downshifting if you have a car with a manual transmission or an automatic with manual transmission,” says Hugo.
Strong brake can cause the tires to lock, which means you have less control and could be at risk of a crash.
“Brake is softer and more gradual than you would under normal conditions (this is facilitated by longer stopping distances), as sudden braking can lock the tyres,” says Hugo.
Before going out on the snowy roads, check Seven Do’s and Don’ts before driving.
In another development, the revised Highway Code 2022 will take effect on January 29.
Also, make sure you’re wearing the right shoes before getting behind the wheel snowy conditions.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8266706/tips-drive-snow-ice-fine/ Eight tips for driving safely in snow and ice as motorists risk being fined up to £2,500