Opening the door on a winter’s morning to find a car thick with ice can be the cause of a lot of frustration, annoyance, stress and tension. Falls, slips, cracked windscreens, thefts from or of unattended vehicles, cracked windscreens, crashes and late departures all make for a very unpleasant start to a day. Here are some top tips to keep you on time, safe, secure- and on the right side of the law.
DO get prepared. Ensure your car has a scraper, de-icer, lint free cloth and soft brush stowed safely away.
DON’T leave your windscreen wipers on auto during the winter. If they become frozen the rubber may rip off when you turn on the ignition.
DO leave plenty of time to make your car roadworthy. Keep your eye on the weather reports, and if ice is forecast, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier the night before.
DO switch on the engine, switch on the heated rear screen and mirrors and get the air con on. It’s the most effective way to clear frozen windows, circulating air to gently warm the glass.
DON’T leave the car running with the keys in the ignition, even if you just need to pop inside for a minute. Icy mornings are a car thief’s paradise- don’t give them an opportunity. Your insurance won’t cover you for theft if you leave the doors unlocked. In addition, 40% of drivers admit to doing this; as drivers are required to be in control of their vehicle at all times, it is an offence to leave a car unattended on a public highway, and may lead to a £30 fine.
DO use a scraper and de-icer to clear the outside of the car.
DON’T use hot water to clear glass. 13% of drivers admit to doing so, but the sudden expansion, followed by contraction as it cools can cause the glass to crack. On particularly cold days the hot water will quickly turn to ice, compounding the problem, and could freeze your wipers to the window.
DON’T use your hands to wipe misted-up windows – it’ll leave greasy smears and a diamond ring could scratch the glass. If necessary, use a lint-free cloth instead.
DON’T drive off until all the ice is cleared. Clear all snow off the car, making sure the front grille is clear to avoid the engine overheating. Ensure lights are clean and in working order. 12% of drivers admit to driving off before ice is clear, dangerously affecting all- round visibility in already dangerous conditions.
Happy and safe driving!
Talbot Jones Risk Solutions are an insurance brokerage specialising in helping Charities and SMEs. Do get in touch if you’d value a free insurance review, advice or quotation and we’d be delighted to help.