We’ve had a few frosty starts this year so far at Short Term Leasing, so we thought we’d reiterate how important it is to prepare for winter driving. It’s not as simple as turning the heater on in your car though! Low light, slippery roads and cold effecting mechanics are all factors we need to be aware of. So here’s our short guide to safer winter driving:
Prep your vehicle: Lights, heaters and wipers are all used to the max in winter and they put a huge strain on batteries and can run them out quicker than you might think. So avoid running electrical systems unless totally necessary and when you’ve finished heating windows and running fans, switch them off and you’ll maintain batter charge, avoiding potential non-starts on cold mornings.
Check your antifreeze: You might have a short term lease car and although it’s low maintenance, you must ensure that your radiator contains the right levels of antifreeze. The last thing anyone wants is an overheating car with a frozen radiator.
Vision and visibility: Check your windscreen wipers and make sure your screen-wash is topped up. Use dedicated screen-wash that contains antifreeze and don’t use traditional engine antifreeze either. Because the days are so short, you have to be seen on the road, so check bulbs frequently. But because of the amount of dirt on the road over winter, make sure your lights are clean too!
Tyres: If your short term car leasing deal doesn’t include tyres, then apart from being just legal, try and make sure your tyres carry at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. And don’t reduce tyre pressures to get more grip. This will only serve to reduce stability.
Preparation: By giving yourself just a few minutes in advance before leaving, you’ll leave with the peace of mind that you’re not rushing on hazardous roads and your visibility won’t be compromised my mist and frost.
Safe Winter Driving: It’s easy to underestimate driving in winter conditions, so try and get into the habit of pulling off in second gear for more traction to avoid wheel spins. Avoid stopping on hills if possible! Pulling off on an icy incline can be hazardous, as well as difficult to do and when driving downhill, reduce speed well in advance and keep your distance from vehicles ahead.
If your contract hire lease car has automatic transmission, then in wintery conditions, it’s safer to select ‘2’., rather than ‘drive’, and limit the gear changes, making you less reliant on brakes. If your vehicle has a winter mode, then perhaps use that.
So just a few of the top tips we know make for safer winter driving. For more information on vehicle safety and for the very best short term car lease deals, get in touch with Short Term Leasing now!