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National Windscreens issues winter driving tips

20 January 2020

National Windscreens urges customers to be vigilant on the roads all year round, but has some extra tips on how to stay safe during the winter months. Ensuring your car is in top condition and making sure you know exactly how to drive in differing conditions should help you avoid any threats this season.

National Windscreens warns drivers to get small windscreen chips repaired quickly. Freezing temperatures increase the likelihood of this damage turning into a crack, which results in the need for a windscreen replacement.

Remember, if a windscreen needs replacing and your vehicle has Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted, the ADAS camera must be calibrated to ensure these safety systems continue to work as intended. Getting a chip in the windscreen repaired can be up to 10 times less expensive than replacement and calibration combined, so act promptly to save time and money.

National Windscreens has extensive experience in getting vehicles back on the road in record time during the winter season and offers a one stop service for windscreen replacement and ADAS calibration at all of its 108 fitting and calibration centres. If in doubt, remember it also offers a free windscreen inspection service.

During the winter months, snow, ice, frost, wind and rain all present different challenges. National Windscreens advises having your car checked by a professional, but if you’re doing it yourself, it’s vital you know which components must be checked.

Make sure your car is in tip top condition

As the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your tyres, so make sure they’re at the correct pressure and the tread depth is adequate. Better still, invest in a set of winter tyres; they have deeper treads and softer rubber to give your car more traction in cold conditions and on loose surfaces. Floods can affect your brakes’ ability to function correctly, so check them frequently. Ensure all liquids are topped up, including anti-freeze, oil and fuel; low fuel levels can create fuel line freeze-up.

Ensure all your car's exterior lights are operational; everything from the headlights to indicators and even the number plate. During the winter, heaters, demisters and lights are used more, causing strain on the battery. Cold weather can also have an adverse effect on batteries, making them less efficient. Keep an eye on your battery, make sure you switch everything off after your journey and consider investing in a battery charger just in case.

Driving without full visibility is both illegal and dangerous, for you and other drivers. De-icing correctly and checking your washer is topped up ensures a clean, clear windscreen and windows, which subsequently helps visibility. Make sure the wiper blades are clean, to prevent smears and damage from debris.

Driving tips in challenging conditions

Diverse conditions require you to adapt your driving, so know how to control your car. Speed must be reduced significantly and your following distance must be increased. Try to accelerate and decelerate more gently too.

Know your lights; adverse conditions mean a variety of lights may be required. Take care when passing cyclists and pedestrians; they’re also fighting the same battle as you during inclement weather. If you cannot see as far down the road as usual, open the window and turn down the radio to listen out for any incoming traffic.

Remember to pack your car full of emergency equipment too! Top essentials include: a shovel, de-icing equipment, a first aid kit, a torch, jump leads, a mobile phone charger and food and water.

A quick guide of top tips can be found here:

National Windscreens - Winter driving tips.PDF (323.63 kb)