December is upon us and the coldest three months of the year are starting, so any drivers still leaving home without a coat and de-icer need to get prepared. Luckily, Renault has already thought about how to prepare and make sure its customers don’t have to test the market-leading five star EuroNCAP crash worthiness of their cars!
We all know the UK’s weather is changeable so it’s important that your driving style is adaptable too! Snow, fog, ice and rain are just a few of the dangers winter can spring upon the motorist but there’s preparation to be done before you even get on the road.
Most road safety organisations advise having your car serviced before winter. Whatever your make of car, Renault dealers are able to help you with this and selected Renault dealers and Renault Minute fast-fit sites are also offering a tailored winter service including a five-point check on tyres, lights, brakes, coolant and wipers, in other words all the winter maintenance essentials.
Visibility is key
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), during winter ‘the biggest single danger to any driver is being unable to see properly’ so visibility is key. This means clearing your windscreen with more than a few scrapes with a credit card on a frosty morning no matter how late you are for work!
Renault dealers stock a winter care pack (£10.00) which includes de-icer, screenwash and ice scraper as it’s essential to have this de-icing equipment in your car at all times so you can completely clear your windows and lights ensuring 100% visibility. Keep your screenwash topped up too (remember to ensure it has anti-freeze additives not just water which will freeze) to maintain good visibility.
Wiper blades should also be checked for winter to ensure they are not worn or split which may cause them to leave smears and greasy marks on the windscreen and affect your visibility. Remember it is illegal to drive with poor visibility and last winter the Police clamped down on drivers who had only cleared a "letterbox" window through the ice on the windscreen.
Lights should be checked to ensure they are working properly and that you see and be seen this winter. You should also clean your lights regularly in winter to make sure they are free from dirt; this includes your headlights, fog lights and indicators.
Flat batteries are consistently the number one reason for breakdowns during the winter months. The battery is really the heart of your car so it is a good idea to get it checked as winter approaches so you can avoid being stuck at the roadside. Think of the drain on the battery during the winter when you might do many daytime journeys with the lights, wipers and heated window and door mirrors on all the time. Not to mention those lucky people with heated seats!
You can get your battery checked at your local Renault dealer, which will provide you with information about the condition of your battery. Renault Minute sites do not need appointments so can provide items like this off the shelf.
Tyres are another essential item that should be checked. Tread depth and pressures should be checked. The legal minimum tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm in the UK and EU. If your tyres are not of adequate depth it can cause many problems such as increasing the risk of skidding as your tyres cannot grip the road properly as well as aquaplaning when the wheels of your car lose contact with the road whilst driving which can be a frightening experience. Most Renault dealers sell a variety of Michelin and Continental tyres.
Careful driving in the winter is vital. You should always ensure you keep your distance from the vehicle in front and increase your stopping distance in poor driving conditions especially in freezing temperatures where almost invisible black ice can be a real danger. Also remember to reduce your speed and drive slowly even on roads that have been gritted.Published 25 November 2004