Survival guide for safe winter driving

Freezing temperatures can transform a simple landscape into a winter wonderland. But for drivers, winter is not always particularly pleasant. Wet roads are hazardous enough, never mind those covered with snow or black ice…

Since not everyone can leave their car in the garage, here are some pieces of advice for getting through the winter months without a hitch.

Have a spare container of windscreen washer fluid ready

Snow and mud flying everywhere, ice and salt blocking your view… In winter weather, your windscreen has a lot to deal with, and most of us use more your washer fluid than usual. Make sure you always have a back-up supply so as to be sure of good visibility in all situations.
Tip: buy a frost-resistance washer liquid!

Scrape, scrape, scrape

Icy windscreen? Get scraping! It’s never any fun, but it’s absolutely vital for your safety.
Tip: use the “defrost” function on your car heater. This will speed up de-icing.

No cruise control in the snow

Even if cruise control makes your trip more pleasant in normal conditions, its use is discouraged in winter. Whenever you’re driving on a road that is slippery due to snow, ice or rain, cruise control could prove to be your worst enemy. It is de-activated by braking, which could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Watch out for snow ploughs

Are the roads covered in snow or a thick layer of ice? This is when snow ploughs set to work. Be advised: never overtake a snow plough! Not only is it an offence for which you may end up in court but, above all, it puts your life in danger!

Adapt your driving style

Brisk acceleration, tight overtaking, sudden braking, etc.: these are the sort of manoeuvres to be avoided during the winter months. Wet road surfaces increase the braking distance, and an accident can happen quickly, even if your car is equipped with ABS (anti-lock brakes). Adapt your driving style to the weather conditions and maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.

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