Driving Myths - Beat the Winter Weather

04th Mar 2016

One of the biggest nightmares for drivers c an be snow and ice on the roads. Journeys can be delayed, the risk of having an incident is increased and problems with your vehicle can become apparent in severe conditions.

A lot of people share tips when driving in winter, but how can decipher which tips are useful and which can be dangerous to adhere to? We have created a list of five of the most common driving statements in winter and discuss which ones are useful in winter weather. 

Driving Myths: Fact or Fiction?

1. As long as you have anti-lock brakes, you can brake as normal

You still need to use some technique when braking on a winter road - just because you have an ABS, does not mean winter roads will be easy to stop on.

The softer the surface, the softer you should brake. If you are on a snowy road, try not to slam your brakes on - gently does it.


2. Scraping the snow off the roof of your car is necessary

Although you do not need the roof to see out of your car, debris off your roof can easily fall onto your windscreen or into another motorist's path, which can be very dangerous. It's also illegal to have any glass panel on the car covered in adverse weather conditions, and having poor visibility can become a fault on your part, if you're in an accident.

This means your insurance could potentially withhold a pay-out. All lights and number plates need to be clearly visible as well, so make sure to give yourself time in a morning to clear your car if winter weather hits.


3. Rear-wheel drive is useless in the snow

Even though front-wheel drive is usually the better choice for traction, rear-wheel drive still can be sturdy in winter. Due to the advancements in electronics and tyre technology, rear-wheel drive does not encounter as many troubles as sceptics perceive.

One of the main reasons rear-wheel drive may not be as optimal is due to how many performance vehicles are rear-wheel drive. As performance and snow doesn't go, if your car has an eco-mode, utilise this setting, which will give you more control in winter weather. 


4. Stay away from back roads in adverse conditions

Back roads with little or no traffic initially sounds appealing. However, this is usually because back roads will not be cleared, or due to very little use will be highly affected by the weather.

It can become both, more time consuming to navigate back roads in bad weather and also be very dangerous. We advise planning your route when bad weather hits, to make sure none of the roads you take are closed, and if they are, to find a suitable diversion. 

5. Removing your car's battery in cold weather will prolong its life

Unless you're not planning to use a car for a long time after removing your battery, taking it out can lead to more problems that it's worth. Your dashboard settings and certain electronical features will be reset if you remove your battery without the proper knowledge, and in doing so will not prolong the batteries life.

There are plenty of things you can do to help look after your car's battery. Storing your car in a garage can have the same effect, as all your battery need its warmth and care. Getting the electrical system checked, including your alternator, can make sure your battery is in good condition. If you frequent short drives, it is more likely to lead to discharge of the battery, so having a charger handy can always be useful.