Estimated Time to Read: 2 minutes

The winter months bring with them low temperatures, frost, ice, snow and hail. These adverse weather conditions take their toll on a car, as well as making the roads more dangerous, so you should prepare for winter to ensure your safety on the roads by making sure that your car is in ship-shape and that you have everything your car needs to survive the tough conditions.

Car Service and Tyres

Before winter arrives in full force, get your car serviced as there’s no better time to replace filters, fluids and check for any faults. When the car is being serviced, they’ll also be able to check the condition of your tyres and your tyre pressure. The legal minimum for tyres’ tread depth is 1.66mm, but it’s a good idea to have a tread depth of at least 3mm coming into winter as the deeper your treads, the more grip your tyres will have on the road, meaning you’ll be less likely to skid on icy road surfaces.

Lights, Wipers and Windows

As it gets darker earlier during the winter, you will come to rely on your car’s lights more and more, so it’s a good idea to check them to make sure they’re all working and in good condition. Replace any lights that need replacing as soon as possible. Likewise, you should make sure your wiper blades are in good condition as it is these that will remove rain, hail and snow from your front windscreen, giving you a clear view of the road. Fill up on windscreen washer fluid if necessary and consider adding some antifreeze if you expect the winter to be an icy one as it will cause ice on the windscreen to melt away much faster.

A Winter Emergency Kit

It’s a good idea to have a winter kit in the car, in case something were to happen during a car journey in heavy snow, for example, so you have a few essential supplies to get you by until you solve the problem or until help arrives. Such a kit might include blankets, food, a torch, warm clothing, an ice scraper and a car phone charger (in case something happens and you find that your phone is out of battery).

Changing Your Driving

Finally, road conditions change during the winter months and so should your driving. Adjust your driving to suit the changed conditions. Slow down to give yourself more time to react to anything that happens on the road ahead of you. Avoid braking suddenly if possible as this could cause you to lose control of the car if the roads are icy.

Safety should be your number one concern when driving, whatever the season, as every time you drive on public roads, not only are you responsible for your own life and the lives of your passengers, you are also partly responsible for the lives of other road users and this is not a responsibility that should be taken lightly.

This article was written by auto industry blogger and car enthusiast Jeremy Connolly who likes to buy winter tyres Dublin for his car each year.