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If you are a car owner you’ll know how tricky it can be to drive in difficult winter conditions. The snow and ice that much of the country has seen at some point over the last few winters have cut away the wheat from the chaff in terms of who can drive comfortably and who finds things difficult.
There are a few things you can do to help you drive in inclement winter conditions. They are listed below:

Check the car

Before you set out on a journey during winter it’s imperative that you check the current condition of your car. Things worth checking include:
o    Lights – all lights should be fully functioning including fog lights and brake lights. Get someone to stand behind the car to check the brake lights come on when you depress the brake pedal.
o    Tyres – Check the condition of all the tyres on your car including the spare, if you have one. Tyres should be inflated to manufacturer specifications and should have a legal amount of tread left across the tyre width. The more tread the better during winter conditions. It can sometimes be worth enquiring about winter tyres if the conditions are really bad.
o    Wipers – check your windscreen wipers operate and that the rubber on the blades is in good condition. Also top up your washer bottle with concentrated screen wash so it won’t freeze at low temperatures.
o    Brakes – it can be worth taking your car to your local garage to get them to check the brakes before the winter really kicks in. Brake discs, pads and shoes all need inspection to make sure the car is safe to drive.

Drive safely

During the winter and especially during night time driving conditions it’s important to leave a larger than normal gap between yourself and the car in front. Stopping distances are increased considerably during the winter when it’s icy or rainy so make sure you compensate for this.
If driving conditions are difficult you’ll need to be more aware of your surroundings so turning the radio off and using a driving style which is cautious and considerate is a good thing to adopt. If you are struggling with the conditions it holds to reason that other motorists will also be struggling.
One of the things many motorists don’t do before setting off on a long journey during the winter is to check the weather report for inclement weather conditions. If there any weather warnings or dangerous conditions are forecast it’s worth asking yourself if the journey really has to be made or if it can be postponed.

This article was written by Harry Flack who recommends www.atlasautoservice.ie for car services.