Driving Guide

Be Winter roadworthy

Michelin 22 Oct 2012

Be Winter roadworthy

As you and your family look forward to the first snowflake, there’s another side of Winter to keep in mind. In Europe this is when the weather is at its most extreme. When it comes to driving, the unpredictable nature of the season means road conditions can quickly become dangerous. So let’s look at the essentials of how to keep yourselves safe out there this Winter.

Rain, cold, snow and ice make for slippery roads. Anything could happen, but if your car is prepared and you drive carefully, you can improve your safety. As soon as the first frosts arrive, give your car a Winter health check and get into the Winter driving mindset.

Change your tyres

Fitting Cold Weather tyres makes driving safer at cool temperatures, as they offer better grip, handling and reduced braking distances on cold Winter roads. In some countries it’s the law to switch to Cold Weather tyres so make sure you’re up to speed with local legislation if you’re driving in Europe. It is a good idea to use 4 Cold Weather tyres as using only 2 can create unstable handling in wintry conditions.

Check the basics

Your car’s windscreen washer reservoir should be full, the battery charged and the right oil must be used. Front and rear defrosters and the heating system should all work. Ensure windscreen wipers and lights are in good running order. Tyres lose air pressure when the temperature drops so check air pressure monthly during Winter. If in doubt about anything, have your car professionally serviced.

Prepare for emergencies

Make sure your vehicle is equipped with Winter equipment, such as a first-aid kit, a fully inflated spare tyre, food, water, blanket and warm clothes. If you get stuck on a freezing road you’ll be glad that your car is fully stocked.

Plan your route

Weather forecasts and travel bulletins can help you avoid dangerous situations and reduce travel times. Stay informed and you could avoid having to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.

Clean your car

Clean all the snow and ice off your car before driving. Snow left on the car can blow off and reduce visibility for you and other drivers. Lights, windows and mirrors should especially be clean and free from ice and snow.

Drive safely

Reduce your speed in bad weather, increase stopping distances and avoid sudden acceleration and braking. Use dipped headlights when visibility is poor. Cold Weather tyres can improve your safety and your confidence behind the wheel. Look for a brand that offers superior mileage and braking.

Download our winter checklist.

Brought to you by Michelin.

  • car
  • 4x4 / suv
  • van / motorhome