Top Tips For Safe Autumn Driving
The leaves are turning amber, the mornings are getting colder and the evenings are getting shorter: autumn is most definitely here. But what does this mean for your car? Read on for our selection of five top tips for safe autumn driving.
Leave the house prepared
Now that the weather is getting colder and darkness is setting in earlier, it’s wise to kit your car out appropriately. In case of a breakdown, make sure you have a coat in the car, along with a torch and a supply of emergency water and snacks. It might sound like overkill, but you’ll thank yourself for being prepared should you get stranded in the cold!
Check your tyres
Having good tyres on your car is always important, but it’s even more so in the autumn and winter months. Grip levels on the roads reduce with the temperature, and with snow and ice a possibility, you’ll need as much traction as you can get. Not only that, but the higher risk of standing water during autumn also makes aquaplaning a more common occurrence. The better and newer your tyres, the less chance you have of getting into an accident – it’s as simple as that. You may also want to consider fitting winter tyres, which increase grip levels in snowy and icy conditions.
Make sure your washer fluid reservoir is full to the brim
The roads are being salted now, and if you’re an experienced driver you’ll know just how annoying this can be for visibility. When the road is damp and freshly gritted, spray from cars ahead can soon leave a salty residue on your windscreen. It’s illegal not to have screenwash for a reason: without it, you’ll soon find yourself unable to see where you’re going!
Protect your car’s paintwork and interior
All of that road salt takes its toll on your car, too. Not only does it eventually lead to rust developing if it’s left on the metalwork, it can also stain and mark interior components – especially floor mats. If you care about your car and want to keep it in pristine condition through the colder months, wash it regularly to remove road salt – and run the hose pipe underneath the car as much as you can to wash the salt off. You can treat the paintwork to a coat of wax for additional protection. Meanwhile, on the inside, consider installing temporary rubber floor mats to take the brunt of the road salt.
Keep an eye on your car’s battery
As soon as the weather gets colder, your car’s battery and electrical systems have a harder time starting the engine. This means they wear more quickly and, consequently, you may be let down by your car when it refuses to turn on one morning. You can pre-empt this though by getting your battery tested to see how healthy it is. If it’s on its last legs, replace it before it gives up the ghost entirely. As an additional precaution, you can carry around jump leads in your car, which will help you get the engine going again if the battery isn’t cooperating.
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