This post about winter driving myths is a collaboration with ATS Euromaster, but all thoughts and findings are my own
Winter is looming and we are already bracing for our first report of snow here in the UK. It is really important to stay safe on the roads this winter and recognise that you might need to make some modifications to your car tyres and style of driving over the cold weather season. There is a 20% increase in road accidents in the winter months so you might want to consider winter tyres to reduce your risk. ATS Euromaster are working on a campaign to raise awareness of some common winter driving myths which will hopefully raise awareness and help to keep us safe on the roads this winter.
ATS Euromaster are one of the UK's leading tyre and vehicle service providers and have been running since 1965 so they have a wealth of experience and plenty of garages across the UK. They have high standards of safety and even have a gold award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of accidents. Head to ATS Euromaster for car servicing, MOTs and new tyres.
ATS Euromaster want to help to reduce the number of accidents on the road in the winter by raising awareness and educating drivers of winter driving myths so that they can stay safe. So as part of the ATS Euromaster Winter Driving Myth Challenge I headed over to my Instagram stories and asked some questions of my followers to see if they were aware of some of the most common winter driving myths. I'm going to include the results below - I wonder how you will fare?
Myth or Truth? Scroll down to see the answers.
- 1. It is illegal to drive in wellies
- 2. Car crime is less common around Christmas.
- 3. You can be fined for leaving the engine running while you're defrosting your car.
- 4. It is a legal requirement to carry a winter emergency kit.
- 5. An engine doesn’t need time to warm up before you start driving in the cold.
- 6. Adding extra weight to your car will give you better traction.
- 7. You can mix winter tyres with summer or all-season ones for the best effect.
- 8. It is recommended to de-ice your car using hot water.
- 9. Driving with more lights on will help you when it is snowing.
- 10. If you disconnect your car battery at night, you can save power and stop it from going flat.
1. It is illegal to drive in wellies.
This is FALSE and most of the people I surveyed got this right, but not as high as I thought at 61%. It is more difficult to drive in wellies but it is not illegal. The same could be said for flip flops! The driver of a vehicle must be responsible to wear appropriate footwear that enables them to be able to drive comfortably and safely.
2. Car crime is less common around Christmas.
This is TRUE and most people I surveyed got it wrong! 92% thought it was false. To be fair I would have thought that crime would be more common this time of year with presents being left in cars etc but it seems I was wrong, reports of car crime decrease around Christmas and Boxing Day.
3. You can be fined for leaving the engine running while you're defrosting your car.
This is TRUE – you are not allowed to leave your car running while it is not moving. Also if your vehicle is stolen while you are defrosting it, your insurance it also likely to be invalid. Most people knew this but it was close - 58% of people guessed it was true. I'll admit this one got me - I'll know not to do this in the future.
4. It is a legal requirement to carry a winter emergency kit.
This FALSE – while it is probably a good idea to keep some emergency equipment in the car just in case of a breakdown or accident, you do not have to in the UK. 65% of the people I surveyed got this right which is much lower than I thought so I guess that means that more people are prepared for winter emergencies which is great.
5. An engine doesn’t need time to warm up before you start driving in the cold.
This is TRUE and most of you didn't know this either, although it was very close - 47% answered true. Back in the day, cars needed to warm up first but if you have a more modern car they have the technology to enable them to cope in cold temperatures. Also, if leave your car running without going anywhere you will be wasting fuel.
6. Adding extra weight to your car will give you better traction.
This is FALSE – most modern cars are front wheel drive and in these cars if you put extra weight in the boot it will have the opposite effect. However quite a few of those surveyed by me thought this was true - 46% in fact.
7. You can mix winter tyres with summer or all-season ones for the best effect.
FALSE – all four tyres on your car must be the same or your vehicle will be difficult to control. It is best to change all your tyres to winter tyres at the start of winter and then change them back over to all-season ones when the weather warms up. Luckily only 17% of you thought this was true.
8. It is recommended to de-ice your car using hot water.
This is FALSE – using hot water might seem like a good idea as it is quicker but it can cause the glass in your window screen to crack. Again, most of you knew this and only 12% said it was true. I wonder how many of us listen to that advice though when we are late for school or work in the morning?!
9. Driving with more lights on will help you when it is snowing.
This is FALSE – if you are driving when it is snowing or there is snow on the ground, having extra lights on won't make a difference, in fact they may cause a dazzle effect, blinding other drivers. In extreme cases a fog light may be beneficial but, often, maintaining dimmed headlights is more than enough.. 69% of people i surveyed got this right.
10. If you disconnect your car battery at night, you can save power and stop it from going flat.
This is FALSE and 88% of you got this right. If the battery is plugged in or not, it will still be affected by the cold. If you do disconnect your battery from the car why not charge it instead?
I hope that you found this post useful - I certainly did as there were a few winter driving myths here that I got wrong! It was really interesting to see how others answered though, there were some where most people knew the right answer but others where it was a bit closer, and one where mostly everyone was completely wrong!
It is really important to be prepared for winter and that means preparing your vehicle too so make sure that you take some of these points on board and get your car ready for winter so you can help to make sure that you and your passengers are safe.
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