Now we're well into October, the nights are starting to draw in and the weather is beginning to turn decidedly autumnal.
The more wintry the weather becomes, the more hazardous our roads can be - so we've put together a useful list of tips and advice to make sure you are safe on the roads whatever the weather.
Statistics from the AA show that vehicle breakdowns almost double when there is a cold snap - with flat batteries being one of the most common cause. In cold weather, we naturally have the in-car heating and fans on as well as using the lights in the darker weather - all of which put an extra strain on the battery. Car batteries should be replaced every five years, so if yours is already on the way out then overuse during cold weather can finish it off.
Frozen radiators are also a common cause of breakdowns in cold weather. This can cause terminal engine damage due to overheating, so to avoid this make sure there is a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze in the radiator.
It's also a good idea to put some antifreeze in your water bottle to prevent ice forming on your windscreen - DO NOT use normal engine antifreeze though, as this can cause damage to your paintwork. Instead, use dedicated windscreen antifreeze.
During icy or snowy weather you should:
In wet conditions stopping distances can double, so make sure you always keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front.
Your tyres are also important in wet weather, so make sure yours have at least the legal minimum tread depth. This is to ensure you have
If you do aquaplane, don't panic. When you are
More tips for driving in wet weather:
In high winds lorries and caravans tend to be the most affected, so always be alert to the danger when passing them. Cars can also be affected by winds, especially on exposed roads so make sure you watch out for:
When visibility on the road is down to 100 metres or less then the law states you must use your headlights - or fog lights in extreme conditions. For a guide, 100 metres is roughly the length of a football pitch.
In such conditions it can be difficult to find reference points, so use what you can to make sure you know exactly where on the road you are - cat's eyes, other headlights etc... Be careful not to rely on other vehicles too much though, as they may not know where they are going.
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