Much of the UK has been experiencing cold, frosty and, in places, snowy weather since the start of the new year, which means it’s important to make sure your car is roadworthy for the freezing temperatures.
We all know the feeling of getting to our cars in the morning and realising we need to spend a good five to ten minutes deicing it before we get on the road. When it’s cold, and you’re maybe running late, it can be tempting to do what you feel is the minimum and just getting moving.
However, as the Mirror recently noted, failing to properly deice your windscreen and the other windows in your car could see you pulled over by the police and handed a £60 fine.
The newspaper noted that, according to rule 229 under the Highway Code, all of your windows and mirrors need to be cleared and demisted before you begin your journey. Simply scraping off enough ice that you can see out of your side of the windscreen isn’t enough.
Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, told the publication that while it’s easy to be impatient, it’s important not to rush to get on the road in such conditions.
“Drivers should be careful as driving with limited vision, caused by ice or condensation on your windscreen, could land you with a £60 fine and three points on your licence,” he stated.
He also warned against using hot water from your kettle to help melt the ice on your windows, as this can damage the windscreen.
It’s also worth noting that rule 228 of the Highway Code states that you shouldn’t drive at all in snowy or icy conditions unless your journey is essential. While many who have to get to work will be making essential trips, it means the rest of us who might not need to go out as urgently should try to avoid driving during such weather conditions.
The newspaper also pointed out that it’s not only your windows that you should be mindful of. It’s also essential that you remove any snow from your vehicle that could fall into the path of another driver. Again, failing to do so could result in a fine and points on your licence.
It also shared some tips for driving in snowy and icy conditions if you do have to be out on the roads. One simple factor to remember is that your stopping distance will be increased in such conditions, so leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the car in front.
You should also be prepared for conditions on the roads to change throughout your journey and it’s essential to take extra care, even if you’re going to be driving on highways that have been treated by a gritter.
The Daily Record recently shared some tips for drivers about how to prevent your windscreen and windows from freezing over in the first place, which could make getting those essential journeys underway a little bit quicker at this time of year.
One tip that sounds odd, but that apparently prevents frost from forming on glass, is to rub half a raw onion on your windscreen and car windows before you go to bed. Spraying the glass with a mix of either vinegar or alcohol and water can also prevent it from freezing over.
If you want to try this tip, the publication recommends a 1:2 ratio of water to alcohol or vinegar.
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