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Motoring Advice

Keep Windscreens Frost Free

While the UK winters aren’t as cold or extreme as many other parts of the world, we are still subjected to freezing temperatures and the odd snowfall.  It’s these adverse weather conditions that can wreak havoc on the roads and driving conditions and also cause many of us to put ourselves and others at risk.

frosted windscreens

It always surprises me how many people I see driving peering through a small clearing on their frosted windscreens.

The law on winter driving
There are numerous drivers who, for whatever reason, will set off on a journey in their car without properly clearing all windscreens and windows of snow and ice. This is not only dangerous as it restricts your view of the road, but it is also against the law. The Highway Code clearly states that driving in extreme weather conditions you must clear all ice and snow from all windows, remove all snow that might fall onto the road and ensure lights and license plates are clearly visible.

So why is it then that in winter, we feel we can scrimp on these safety measures? Is it a time thing? Is it lack of knowledge of the law? Or is it that we don’t know the proper way to de-ice a car?

Well, the honest answer is likely to be a combination of all three.

Do a proper job on your frosted windscreens

We all live busy lifestyles and if you’re running late for work or for an engagement, there is often little time allowed for preparing your car for driving. However, with the right de-icing equipment and a few extra minutes you can make sure you’re safely and legally driving your car in winter.
Frosted windscreensNo doubt, we have all improvised with a credit card or CD case to scrape the frost off our frosted windscreens, but the reality is these aren’t designed to do the job and could actually cause damage. Also, you may have tried the kettle of boiling water trick, which should be avoided – boiling water on frosted windscreens, its like playing roulette, what will crack first you or the glass? It may seem like a quick solution, but it can put huge stress on the glass and make existing chips and cracks larger.
The best solution is to invest in proper de-icing tools, such as a scraper and de-icer spray. Many de-icer scrapers will also come with a brush attachment, which can be very effective for clearing away snow. These pieces of equipment are specifically designed for the job, not only making the task much easier and quicker, but they also won’t cause damage to the glass.
It’s also a good idea to run your car a few minutes before you leave. Most modern cars come with heated windows or efficient heating systems that will help to warm your car and melt the ice away – of course you need to make sure you don’t leave your car unattended and a target for theft.
Of course, having a safe car is essential, and whether or not you can afford to buy a reliable car, this shouldn’t preclude you from being safe.

 

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