There’s a chill in the air... Prepare for winter driving conditions

PUBLISHED: 13:24 12 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:28 12 October 2016

Motorists are being warned to prepare for wintry driving conditions by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart

Motorists are being warned to prepare for wintry driving conditions by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart


The Indian summer was fun while it lasted but make way for the hats, scarves and wellies because winter is on its way.

Archant Herts Be Road Safe CampaignArchant Herts Be Road Safe Campaign

The temperature is gradually dropping, reminding drivers that we have to make sure we have our de-icers ready.

Richard Gladman, the head of driving and riding standards at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, says now is the time to start preparing for winter driving conditions.

He said: “Winter is unpredictable but highway authorities are already planning for it by building up their salt stocks and getting the snow clearing equipment out of storage.

“If they are getting ready, then why shouldn’t you? With a little bit of preparation you can avoid getting stuck and adding to the problems that bad weather can bring.”

Here are some top tips to prepare motor users for the winter from IAM RoadSmart.

Check your windscreen ahead of driving in hard weather conditionsCheck your windscreen ahead of driving in hard weather conditions

• No bobble heads

Keep the windscreen clear.

Try to get scratches, abrasions and chips fixed as colder temperatures can worsen the damage.

Keep the windscreen washer topped up with a more concentrated screen wash mix to ensure it doesn’t freeze in action.

Check your tyres before the winter weather arrivesCheck your tyres before the winter weather arrives

Lastly, search in the garage for last year’s de-icing spray or better still invest in a new one

• Check your tyres

1.6mm may be the legal limit but anything under 3mm will see a potential fall off in grip and braking performance.

If long-term cold weather is forecast, and you can afford it, invest in a set of winter tyres approved by your car manufacturer.

Rain droplets on car windscreenRain droplets on car windscreen

Don’t follow urban driver myths of reducing the tyre pressure to get more grip – it simply doesn’t work

• Set up a pre-winter check list

List things that need to be checked such as the car battery, bulbs, wiper blades and electrics.

You don’t want to be stranded in a cold car in the middle of night waiting for the recovery team to get you up and running again

• Dress appropriately for the weather

It may be surprising but too many drivers dress based on a working car heater.

If it breaks or you are stranded you can easily be caught cold

• Plan ahead for bad weather

Start to plan for the really bad weather with a survival kit in the boot.

Spare clothes, a torch, mobile phone charger, some emergency rations such as water and chocolate, and a tow rope and shovel to help yourself and others.

IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services, visit the new website at

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