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Top Tips for Winter Driving

Top Tips for Winter Driving

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Stay safer on the roads with these clever car features. Discover better handling and more confidence with our top tips for winter driving.

Stay Safe and Warm with Swansway Group’s In-Car Features for Winter Driving

As the nights start to draw in, we sadly say goodbye to the summer weather (or what little we had of it) and the long hours of daylight. With it comes a range of challenges, like getting out of bed on a cold morning! More importantly, navigating the roads in the winter months poses an extra degree of risk.

Car dashboard at night

In the days following the 29th of October - the date when the clocks go back - most of us will find ourselves travelling to and from work in the dark. Add this to icy roads and vision obstructed by mist or snow, and we could find ourselves in some very unwelcome and unfamiliar driving conditions.

As usual, at Swansway Group, we’re keen to ensure our customer’s safety during the winter months, so take a peek at the car features that we think will be useful through the winter months. Then take a look at our top tips to get you and your car through the cold spells, and you’ll feel a lot warmer, brighter and more confident in your winter driving seat.

Considerations for Winter Driving

Roads in the winter months are more likely to be slippery from rain, ice, and snow. Always keep the specific road conditions in mind when you are driving. If roads are slippery, reduce your speed and increase the space between you and the vehicle in front to allow for extra braking distance.

Car parked in winter, snowy scene

The same goes for those dark winter mornings and evenings. Visibility is reduced in the dark, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to react to hazards by keeping your speed down. Headlights are another important consideration. Your headlights and highbeams help improve your vision of the road ahead, but make sure to dim your lights for oncoming traffic so as not to dazzle other drivers.

Making sure your car is properly equipped for winter driving is just as important as preparing yourself. There are certain safety features and technology that cars can be equipped with to help keep you safe during winter. Keep a look-out for these in your car or add them to your list if you’re looking to replace your car in time for the seasonal weather changes.

Light Assist

Car driving down a misty rural road with its headlights on

Driving to work first thing in the morning when it’s still dark outside and maybe a little bit foggy can be depressing, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous. Cars such as the Volkswagen Tiguan come with light assist, which helps make driving in the dark safer. With 40% of road accidents occurring after dark* all help in lighting the way is very welcome. Headlights with dynamic cornering swivel to match your steering angle, providing up to 90% better illumination at corners.

And when you unlock your car in the dark, light assist will automatically switch on your headlights for you to help you find your way safely. Your lights will also automatically change to the most suitable setting based on your environment and winter driving conditions, for example, dipping when there is oncoming traffic or illuminating when it suddenly gets darker, when driving through a tunnel, for instance.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Volkswagen Tiguan

Winter Mode/Snow Mode

Like many SUVs, the Peugeot 2008 comes with a Snow Mode specially designed to help you out in wintry conditions. This is particularly useful when you set off on a slippery road surface such as ice, snow, or slush. In other cars, this feature is called Winter Mode. Whatever its name, this useful function provides more traction on slippery surfaces, helping you set off with greater ease without impersonating a Dancing On Ice contestant!

Click Here to Find Out More About the Peugeot 2008

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

ABS is a must for slippery winter driving where you are at risk of skidding. Braking harshly and suddenly can cause your wheels to lock, severely reducing the amount of control you have over your vehicle. This is an even greater risk on wet or icy roads.

With anti-lock brakes, the brake pressure is continuously released and reapplied to allow the wheels to continue revolving. With the wheels unable to lock, the driver is more able to stay in control of their steering. ABS is now standard in a wide range of models, including the Honda Civic.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Honda Civic

Brake Assist

Other safety features help drivers to brake more efficiently, making winter driving much safer.

Coupled with the ESC (Electronic Stability Control), these types of systems help to maintain control especially when driving around corners and in poor light conditions when you might need to take last minute evasive action to avoid next door’s cat!

Car brake lights

Helpful details such as the SEAT Leon’s Multi Collision Braking System which helps drivers stop quicker in case of an accident which might be caused by slippery roads or that .

Click Here to Find Out More About the SEAT Leon

Night Vision

This might sound like it belongs in a spy movie rather than your car, but vehicles are starting to be fitted with night vision technology to help drivers in dark conditions. These systems typically use infrared to detect people, animals, and objects in the road ahead that might not be visible to you in the dark.

An image of the road ahead will then be displayed on a digital display screen on your dashboard. Depending on the model, it may also illuminate your headlights or sound a warning tone to alert you of hazards on the road. The Audi S6 is one of many cars with this feature.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Audi S6

4-Wheel Drive

This is a must-have for improving control and stability in winter conditions and many car models now offer a 4x4 option which consistently distributes power to each wheel separately. The Fiat 500X, for example, might seem an unlikely candidate for an off-road vehicle but its 4-wheel-drive capabilities ensure that it’s as effective a drive in snow and ice as as it is on the city roads.

Car windscreen when driving in the rain

Better traction on the road means better handling all round and a safer, less stressful journey.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Fiat 500X

Heated Seats

This one’s more of a luxury than a necessity, but staying warm in the winter months is important too. And a comfortable driver means a less bumpy ride for everyone! Some cars even offer heated steering wheels as well to keep your hands warm on the wheel. Others, such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia also come with more useful heated door mirrors to ensure a clearer, wide-angled view, whatever the weather.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Alfa Romeo Giulia

Car manufacturers are constantly bringing out new features to help drivers to cope with seasonal changes and keep their passengers and other road users safe in a variety of conditions.

Make sure you’re well equipped for the winter months by getting your hands on a car with at least some of these features. Mention them the next time you pop into your local Swansway Group dealership and our helpful sales advisors will point you in the right direction. We can provide the car, the weather is another matter entirely!

 

*Source: RoSPA

Find out more about Safe Driving here

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