Autumn vehicle safety

03 October 2019

With the long summer days now behind us we have officially entered the beginning of autumn. This poses a greater number of risks whilst out on the roads. In order to minimise these risks, we recommend following the advice below for an autumn of safe and happy motoring.

Dazzle

Glare when the sun’s low in the sky is more likely to be a problem at this time of year. To improve vision, consider:

  • Cleaning your windscreen inside and out, removing the hazy film that builds up.
  • Fixing glass scratches and chips – they can intensify the sun’s glare and lead to failure of your screen.
  • Replacing your wiper blades if they’re worn, damaged, or more than a couple of years old.
  • Use a screen wash additive that’s fit for the job – check the handbook if you’re not sure where to top it up.
  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle and use the sun visors.
  • Slow right down if you’re dazzled.
  • Use your headlights to help others see you.

Remember:

  • If the sun’s behind you, it’s in the eyes of those coming towards you.
  • If the sun’s in your eyes it’s probably blinding drivers following you too.

Batteries

Batteries generally last around five years. If there’s any sign that your battery’s struggling now, it’s likely to let you down during the winter when the colder weather comes. Consider replacing it now to avoid problems later on.

Bulbs

Check your lights every few weeks throughout the year, but especially as autumn starts and we head into the darker winter months. Your handbook shows how to change a bulb but you might need assistance to change headlight bulbs. Don’t forget the brake lights and number plate lights.

Tyres

It is recommend to have at least 3mm of tread for the winter so if yours is getting low change your tyres now before the cold sets in.

Antifreeze

  • Antifreeze is important year round to prevent corrosion and improve summer cooling.
  • It should be checked as part of the regular service schedule.
  • There are different types and mixing them could damage your engine.
  • Your handbook gives details of the correct antifreeze to use.
  • If in doubt get a garage to check the antifreeze for you. Many offer cheap or even free winter checks.

Blue Mountain Group provides Evasive and Defensive Driver training, which includes an introduction to road safety guidelines. For more information email [email protected] or call 01267 241907.

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