What to do in frosty weather
Windscreen clearing and driving tips
The morning started off so wonderfully. You had a great nights sleep, you are up in time to have breakfast as well as beat the morning traffic and now all you need to do is get on the road. But wait what’s this, a firm crispness in the air, an eerie low lying fog, the sun is a little too bright and the grass has a certain white glow that isn't normally there. You curse your luck and mumble under your breath, frost my old friend you have returned.
I will admit that might be a little melodramatic but that is just how I feel about frost. I think the main reason why I have these over dramatic feelings about frost is because I don’t understand it. Yes I get that its frost and I know how it’s formed but when it comes to my car and frost or walking and frost I am at a loss. Take for instance how am I supposed to clear my windscreen or how do I drive in frosty conditions?
To get a better understanding of how I can conquer frost and all its icy minions I turn to the resource that I trust the most, the internet.
So what advice does the internet provide for combating frost? Lets break it down into the important sections.
What to do with a Frosty windscreen.
When it comes to tackling a frosty windscreen there are a couple of key points that you need to remember.
- Check your supplies. This includes de-icer and windscreen scraper. Both are key tools for any car emergency kit.
- Spray the de-icer onto your windscreen and scrape off the offending ice. Simple as this.
- Use lukewarm to tepid water and pour it on your windscreen if you don’t have de-icer. This is a cheap alternative.
- Use a home made alternative for de-icer. Try something like three parts vinegar to one part water. Spray it on the windscreens on the night before as this can help frost from forming on windows.
What not to do with a frosty windscreen.
I will admit that I am actually guilty of doing all of the following "things not to do with a frosty windscreen" during my formative driving years.
- Don’t turn on your engine and heaters unless you want to waste fuel. This can be a time consuming and fuel wasting exercise.
- Don’t pour boiling water onto your windscreen or any windows on your vehicle. Boiling hot water plus frozen glass could result in cracks in your windscreen or other glass surfaces you apply the water too.
- Never drive off while the ice is still on the windscreens as it goes without saying that you need to be able to see out of every window before setting off on your drive.
Driving in frost is somewhat similar to meeting your idols. You only know how you are going to react when it actually happens. But much like meeting your idols you can plan ahead to make sure you know how to act when you have to drive in frosty conditions.
How to drive in frosty conditions
- Make sure you have full visibility at all times.
- Make sure your tyres are fully inflated.
- Make sure your fuel tank is full as this can give you extra weight and cover you if you get stuck in traffic for long periods.
- Make sure you make gentle manoeuvres while driving as they are the key to safe driving so brake and steer as gradually as possible.
- Don’t speed up when entering bends as hidden patches of black ice could be around the corner. Keep within the speed limit.
- Don’t overtake other cars at anytime as you don’t know what conditions you might encounter.
- Avoid using your brakes as much as possible on hill ascents and descents.
- Although your first reaction might be to use your brakes if you start to skid you need to refrain from doing so. When it comes to skidding you should remember RSS:
- Remain calm if you find yourself skidding
- Remove your foot gently from accelerator
- Steer in the correct direction once you feel traction returning.
Although frosty weather is great to look at, road users should treat it with great respect. Make sure you are fully prepared when it comes to clearing your windscreen and driving in icy conditions by doing some prep work in advance. Have a clear idea of what you have to do so that you are not rushing around which may lead to further issues in the future.
Check with your car insurance provider that windscreen protection and breakdown assist are covered on your policy in case something like an unseen crack expands greatly during cold weather. If you are a chill Insurance customer, or are looking for new car cover, do a car insurance quick quote today or call 01 400 3400 to speak to one of our team about our range of cover and the added benefits you could avail of.