Whilst most of us are hoping for a white Christmas, there are a few that dread the thought – the drivers. Christmas frost and snow may provide a fairy tale Christmas, but for those on the roads it means breakdowns and hazardous conditions.

Before you set off make sure you’ve got the basics covered:

Battery – In the winter your battery will run down quicker, make sure you’re taking regular long journeys to help it charge.

Tyres – If possible buy winter tyres – these are made to have better grip in the ice and snow. If not make sure your tyres have 3mm of tread and are inflated properly to help cope with the weather.

Antifreeze – Antifreeze only costs a couple of pounds but it’s cheaper than repairing a cracked, frozen engine. Just use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water to protect your engine down to -34C.

Now you’ve got the basics covered here are some tips for on the road:

Keep your distance

It can take you around 10 times longer to stop on an icy road than a dry one, so you should leave around that between you and the car in front – about 20 seconds. To check you’re far enough away watch the car in front pass an object and then count how many seconds go by before you pass the same object.

Drive smoothly

To keep control of the car and reduce chances of skidding or spinning your wheels, keep your revs low. Lower revs will slow the speed at which the engine turns, meaning it reduces the risk of wheel spin. You should also try and avoid making any sudden manoeuvers like sharp steering or breaking, these increase the chances of your car skidding.

How to deal with skidding

If you hit a patch of slippery road and you feel the car start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator and avoid using the breaks, breaking will only prolong the skid. If the car starts to spin while you are skidding steer in the direction of the spin to allow the car to straighten up.

Be aware of your surroundings

Slow down when approaching corners to allow yourself time should there be an obstruction in the road such as a fall branch or snowplough. Always expect the unexpected from other drivers and leave yourself with plenty of space in case they make any sudden manoeuvers.

Whilst you may be driving with caution this Christmas, others may not. If you have been injured in a road accident that wasn’t your fault, speak to our experienced personal injury solicitors who can help you claim the compensation you deserve. You can contact us here or call 0845 287 0939 .

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