Drivers urged not to take shortcuts before getting behind the wheel

14th November 2013

Now that the cold and dark mornings have set in, many people will find their morning car routine lasting longer than in the summer months, with the cold causing a few issues.

For some this is down to a dusting of snow or a layer of ice covering the windows and it can take time to get rid of this, particularly the first morning you are confronted with it and are unprepared.

However, road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), has encouraged drivers to take the time to remove snow from the windows, the car's roof and its bonnet before getting into the car.

This can take some time, but it is worth standing in the cold for a little bit longer, as the snow can cause a hazard to other motorists if it falls off while driving.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “It can take a bit longer to get yourself going on a cold, dark winter morning, and getting the car going is no different. Give yourself the time to deal with the extra things involved in getting on the road.”

The additional time isn't just reserved for outside the car, as once you get in you should make sure the lights, heaters are turned off before starting the engine, as starting puts a heavy load on the system.

Using the air conditioning can help you keep the air in the car drier, which will avoid the annoyance of your vehicle misting up. It may seem strange to put the air conditioning on in the winter, but it does work.

Ahead of the really cold months it is always advisable to get your air conditioning system checked by a trained professional and recharged if necessary to ensure it is in good working order.

Mr Rodger also advised checking that your battery is in good condition and that your screen wash has a freeze-resistant additive.

"Frosty mornings can be beautiful to look at – but awful to drive in if you and the car aren’t prepared for them," he concluded.

Posted by Danielle Barge