As the temperature starts to drop and broadcasters predicting the coldest winter for 50 years, Hendy Kia want local motorists in Hampshire to keep safer on the road as the winter bites.
From ensuring your car has a winter checkup at your local dealer to making sure you have your winter shoes, here are a few top tips.
- Prepare your vehicle - In winter weather it is vital to ensure that you are visible and safe around other cars. Ensure lights (especially fog and hazard lights) are clean and working, the battery is fully charged, windows are clean and cleared of ice, tyres and brakes are in good condition and all car fluids (such as screen wash, anti-freeze and oil) are topped up.
- Use the highest gear possible in snow - To reduce the loss of traction stay in the highest possible gear you can in icy conditions. If you do get stuck in snow, use the steering wheel to move the car from side to side to push the blockage out of the way, whilst continuing to ensure that you are in a higher gear.
- Keep a sensible speed -Stopping time in icy weather can be up to 10 times more than in typical conditions, so we'd advise drivers to avoid travelling at a high speed in case of an accident. Additionally, be sure to slow down around corners and bends in case of poor visibility, but avoid harsh braking.
- Keep both a car kit and emergency kit on hand - Road safety bodies recommend you keep the following in your car; a tow rope, shovel, wellington boots, hazard warning triangle and de-icing equipment. In addition an emergency kit should contain; first aid kit, torch, blanket, warm clothes and a charged mobile phone. Those heading out on long journeys should also consider food and water supplies.
- Plan accordingly - Check your route in advance to make sure that it's not affected by adverse weather conditions. Ensure that you have the necessary cold-weather car kit including de-icer should your journey take longer than expected.
- Use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced - Generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet) dipped headlights are needed. You may also use front or rear fog lights but ensure that you switch them off when visibility improves.
- Check your grip on the road surface - Where there is snow or ice check this by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feels unresponsive this may indicate ice and your vehicle losing its grip on the road. When travelling on ice, tyres make virtually no noise.
For further information, tips and advice, contact Hendy Kia at either Eastleigh on 023 8062 7510 or Portsmouth on 023 9232 2900