Advice for motorists keen to stay safe this winter

Advice for motorists keen to stay safe this winter

Friday, 4 January 2013 10:45 AM

Inspect your car tyres for damage this winter

Inspect your car tyres for damage this winter

With the winter months meaning it stays darker for longer and there is a substantial risk of the roads being covered with ice and snow, it's imperative that motorists are extra-careful and ensure they stay safe. While this is something that obviously applies to all car owners, it is perhaps even more pressing for those who have luxury vehicles.

Given the fact these cars tend to have a significant financial value and feature high-performance engines, they are not only more likely to be in a crash caused by inclement conditions but could also be more expensive to repair. Minimising the chances of being involved in an accident is, of course, something that motorists should be looking to do this winter, and the below steps ought to give drivers the scope to achieve this.

Fit winter tyres

As obvious as it sounds, driving in the winter means cars are at greater risk of skidding as a result of ice and snow, while wet leaves that have fallen off trees can also present a problem. This means motorists ought to make a special effort to ensure that their vehicle has a good level of traction and that it will handle properly in the most challenging of conditions.

One way this can be achieved is by replacing your car's existing tyres with a set of specialist winter tyres. As these have a higher silica content in their tread they are less prone to hardening in subzero temperatures and, as such, will offer a stronger grip when the roads are cold and wet.

It's also important to make certain that your tyres are always inflated to the recommended amount of air pressure. While there are some people who believe that taking air out will give cars more grip on wet surfaces, this is a misconception and it will actually reduce stability even further.

Apply antifreeze

Another thing that motorists ought to do to make certain their car stays in good condition during the winter is to ensure it has an adequate level of antifreeze in it. This will help to prevent the engine's water pump and cylinder block from becoming frozen, something that can cost several hundred pounds to repair.

While the majority of modern cars use long-life antifreeze (with many containing glycol), it's important to ensure that the product you use is suitable for your vehicle. You can do this by checking your handbook or asking a garage for advice, and you should avoid mixing different kinds as this can end up doing more harm than good.

Invest in comprehensive insurance

Although following the above measures should go some way towards reducing the chances of you being involved in an accident, it's worth bearing in mind that accidents that are beyond your control can happen at any time. As such, it is a good idea to make certain you have comprehensive insurance in place.

By taking out prestige cover for your vehicles, you can be confident that the financial cost that is attached to repairing or even replacing your car will not have to come entirely out of your own pocket. If your vehicle requires extensive repair work and will be off the road for several days, you will be provided with a courtesy car so this needn't put an additional dampener on your winter.