Drivers should beware of hazardous conditions this winter – how to stay safe on the roads

Drivers should beware of hazardous conditions this winter – how to stay safe on the roads


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Many drivers are taking to Britain’s roads over the festive season but with December the most dangerous month for accidents there are several things to remember before setting off.

Aptly-named Chill insurance have asked experts to come up with answers to the most common questions about running and driving a car in winter.

In fact, six of the top ten days for accidents year-round happen in December. 

Following the advice could make a big difference when it comes to arriving safely.

From defrosting to fitting winter tyres, preparation is key to safe winter motoring.

Why does my engine light come on in cold weather?
Modern cars have plenty of sensors so that when a problem arises, we can be alerted as soon as possible via lights and warning signs on the dashboard.

If there are more lights than normal on the dash during the cold weather, there could be a good reason for it.

Engine warning lights can be alarming, but generally, when this happens in cold weather, it’s more likely that it’s signalling a low or flat battery.

Alternatively, a separate low battery light may come on. A low battery can cause all kinds of issues and can affect the electrical components, including sensors and windows.

Why won’t my car start in the cold?

It’s not just a low battery that could prevent a car from starting in the cold weather, but also alternator and starter motor issues.

The alternator is what charges the battery as you drive the car, and so an issue with this device can lead to a flat battery.

There may also be problems such as faulty electric windows, flashing headlights, and flickering dashboard lights.

Will hot water de-ice my car?
When using hot water on a car, there’s a risk of cracking the glass windscreen, lukewarm water should be used instead.

The water will still defrost the ice, but won’t crack the glass.

Cover the windscreen the night before frost is expected to avoid a frozen screen.

And park as close to the house as possible, the warmth from heating will often keep frost from a car.

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