01628 850000 info@mavs.co.uk
Driving in Fog

Driving in Fog

Driving in fog is difficult and dangerous. It causes huge accidents if fog is patchy as it makes drivers brake suddenly.

Check Your Foglights

Please check your fog lights before driving. As you can see in the photo you can switch on your fog lights where you see the symbols circled in yellow.  Sometimes they are push buttons, sometimes a turnable switch and sometimes on one of the steering wheel levers. You have to switch on your headlights first, then your fog lights will work. Ask someone to stand outside the car to visually check they are working correctly when the switch is on.

On the front of a car, the fog bulbs are the ones below the headlights. You can see them lit in these photos. The rear ones vary far more. But if no additional lights come on when you switch on the fog lights, you know you have an issue.

You can buy the bulbs yourself and fit them, or why not call us on 01628 850000 and we’ll help fix it for you.

For further information on the rules regarding fog, read on to see the Highway Code below.

Highway Code Rules Regarding Fog

234
Before entering fog check your mirrors then slow down. If the word ‘Fog’ is shown on a roadside signal but the road is clear, be prepared for a bank of fog or drifting patchy fog ahead. Even if it seems to be clearing, you can suddenly find yourself in thick fog.

235
When driving in fog you should

use your lights as required (see Rule 226)
keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. Rear lights can give a false sense of security
be able to pull up well within the distance you can see clearly. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways, as vehicles are travelling faster
use your windscreen wipers and demisters
beware of other drivers not using headlights
not accelerate to get away from a vehicle which is too close behind you
check your mirrors before you slow down. Then use your brakes so that your brake lights warn drivers behind you that you are slowing down
stop in the correct position at a junction with limited visibility and listen for traffic. When you are sure it is safe to emerge, do so positively and do not hesitate in a position that puts you directly in the path of approaching vehicles.

236
You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.
Law RVLR regs 25 & 27

Driving in icy and snowy weather

Driving in icy and snowy weather

The Highway Code gives the following guidelines on driving in icy and snowy weather conditions.

(Crown Copyright. The content have been sourced from the 2019 edition of The Official Highway Code, and reproduced under the terms of the Open Government Licence.)

 

Driving in adverse weather conditions (226 to 237)


3. Icy and snowy weather (228 to 231)

228 In winter check the local weather forecast for warnings of icy or snowy weather. DO NOT drive in these conditions unless your journey is essential. If it is, take great care and allow more time for your journey. Take an emergency kit of de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing and boots, first aid kit, jump leads and a shovel, together with a warm drink and emergency food in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down.229 Before you set off

  • you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
  • you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
  • make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
  • remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
  • check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.
    Laws CUR reg 30, RVLR reg 23, VERA sect 43 & RV(DRM)R reg 11

230 When driving in icy or snowy weather

  • drive with care, even if the roads have been treated
  • keep well back from the road user in front as stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads
  • take care when overtaking vehicles spreading salt or other de-icer, particularly if you are riding a motorcycle or cycle
  • watch out for snowploughs which may throw out snow on either side. Do not overtake them unless the lane you intend to use has been cleared
  • be prepared for the road conditions to change over relatively short distances
  • listen to travel bulletins and take note of variable message signs that may provide information about weather, road and traffic conditions ahead.

231 Drive extremely carefully when the roads are icy. Avoid sudden actions as these could cause loss of control. You should

  • drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently
  • drive particularly slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely. Brake progressively on the straight before you reach a bend. Having slowed down, steer smoothly round the bend, avoiding sudden actions
  • check your grip on the road surface when there is snow or ice by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feels unresponsive this may indicate ice and your vehicle losing its grip on the road. When travelling on ice, tyres make virtually no noise.
How do I clear ice from my windscreen?

How do I clear ice from my windscreen?

As the weather gets colder and we wake to the beauty of frost and a frozen windscreen, how do you clear ice from it?

Top 3 tips on clearing ice

Here are 3 essential tips on how to remove the ice:

  1. Start the engine and turn on the windscreen blowers and demisters if you have them. If you leave your car unattended, lock it with the spare key to stop theives getting in. If your blowers or heaters aren’t working properly, get in touch and call us, Martin Adams on 01628850000.
  2. Scrape the worst of the ice off using an ice scraper from somewhere like Halfords or in the absence of that, use a credit card or wooden spatula! If you’re on your return journey from work and haven’t got these things handy, you could use a CD case or a ruler from your child’s schoolbag.
  3. Dissolve the ice with a deicing spray or use warm water (not hot as that might crack your screen). You’ll need quite a lot of water but you can fill up empty bottles you may have been recycling like wine or tonic ones.

Clear ice from ALL of  your windscreen

Did you know that clearing the ice from only the driver’s side of the windscreen is not enough ? You must de-ice the entire area, using the wipers when the ice has melted.

So even if you’re running late, please don’t clear just enough glass to see out of. This “portholing” of ice could get you  fined £60 if your vehicle’s deemed to be in a “dangerous condition”. You may even face three penalty points.

By law, the driver must have a full view of the road and traffic ahead of the motor vehicle. Take the extra minutes to fully clear your windscreen and your mirrors too. You’ll make up the lost time in being able to drive more confidently and can save yourself many hours and hundreds of pounds of insurance hassle by avoiding an accident!

To wrap up, sit back and enjoy this frost appear before your eyes in this amazing video called “FROSTYLAPSE”

 

Happy scraping and safe driving!

Driving in sun glare in Autumn and Winter

Driving in sun glare in Autumn and Winter

Sun glare happens when the sun’s low in the sky and it is more likely to be a problem at this time of year during September, October and November. Here are our tips so you can drive safely in the Autumn and Winter sun.

It can cause serious accidents where oncoming drivers cannot see you approaching if they are driving into sun glare. If the sun is in your eyes, you may not see pedestrians, cyclists or fast braking traffic.

To improve vision and reduce the risk of accidents when there is sun glare:

  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car, preferably polarising ones
  • Use the sun visors to provide better contrast for your eyes
  • Clean your windscreen thoroughly, both inside and out, removing the dead insects and leaves off the outside and the hazy film that builds up inside. The inside of the windscreen can look opaque when the sun catches it which means you literally can see nothing in front of you for a second or two.
  • Sort out glass scratches and chips as they can make the sun glare appear dangerously distracting.
  • Top up your windscreen fluid so you can keep the glass clean as you drive, reducing the risk of sun glare. Use a winter screen wash additive that helps keep the windscreen clean – check your car’s handbook if you’re not sure where to top it up.
  • Check and replace your windscreen wiper blades if they’re worn, damaged, or more than a couple of years old.

Sun glare driving tips for Autumn and Winter

If you have checked the things above to make your car safer for driving in sun glare, you should also:

  • Slow down if you’re dazzled.
  • Use headlights to help others see you.
  • If the sun’s behind you, the sun glare is in the eyes of the drivers coming towards you.
  • If the sun’s in your eyes it’s likely to be blinding drivers behind you too, which means you need bigger gaps to allow for delayed braking reactions.

Want us to check your car is ready for Winter sun?

If you would like Martin Adams Vehicle Servicing in Bourne End (near Wooburn Green), please give us a call today to book your winter car service check.

You can also read our article on other things you can do to Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

As summer ends and the winter weather approaches, here are 10 tips for winter car checks you can do.

1. When should I get my car serviced?

It’s a good idea to book in a car service before the wet weather, snow is on the roads or you break down on a cold dark road. If you call Martin Adams today, your car is likely to be services within two weeks. Then you will have the peace of mind to know your car has had the oil, brake pads, brake discs, fluids, fan belts, lights etc checked and are all working.

2. Why does my battery fail to start the car in cold wintery (or even autumnal) weather?

Batteries produce less power in cold weather and you drain it quicker with your windscreen wipers on in the rain and heaters blasting nice warm air at you. Many modern cars also have heated seats and mirrors too. This all puts a drain on your battery when you drive short distances. If it’s a few years old you may want to get your battery checked so it starts your car every day.

3. Top up your windscreen wash fluid with a winter mix

Windscreens freeze in cold weather and you can defrost it quicker in the mornings by putting in a windscreen fluid for winter temperatures. This stops the washer fluid from freezing so you squirt your windscreen clear. Martin’s team will top up fluids as part of your service.

If you’ve had a service from Martin Adams Vehicle Servicing recently, you can buy something like this Bluecol one at around £14 on Amazon Prime. It includes winter screenwash, winter de-icer and winter rain repellent.

4. Top up your engine coolant with one containing antifreeze

Similar to 3, your engine coolant you use in the summer can freeze in winter if you topped it up with water. If it freezes it can’t keep your engine from overheating. Top it up with a coolant that has antifreeze in it. Martin tops up your engine coolant during a service too.

If you’ve had your service recently, or need to top up, this one from Comma is in a concentrated form and protects your engine down to -36 degrees celcius and is suitable for all petrol and diesel engines. It’s £6 to £7 on Amazon.

5. Check your tyres aren’t worn too badly and tyre tread is deep enough

Your tyres are the part of your car that makes the difference between gripping and slipping on the road. If you’ve ever skidded on the road you know how scary it can feel. It’s easy to forget to check your tyres but it only takes a few minutes to do and ideally you want 3mm depth of tread.

In addition, you can even buy chains to put on your tyres when the roads are covered in snow or switch to winter tyres, which have more grip.

6. Check your bulbs in your headlights and fog lights are working

When it’s dark and the weather is bad, whether it is winter or not, you want your lights to work when you need them. It’s a good idea to run through switching on all your lights in sequence with someone stood outside the car to check they come on fully. This includes checking your indicator lights, your dipped headlights, main beam headlights and full beam, brake lights and fog lights.

These are checked and replaced as needed as part of a service and Martin Adams.

7. Check your windscreen wipers and check the windscreen for cracks

Windscreen wiper blades eventually wear out with the swooshing back and forth, leaves and twigs getting stuck betwen the blade and windscreen. Check the blades are nice and clean so they can move easily and if there are splits, ask Martin Adams to change them for you when you book in your sevice.

When roads are resurfaced and occassionally when motorbikes kick up road gravel, your windscreen can get chipped or cracked. Windscreen chips and cracks can spread, making it dangerous to drive in any weather. Most insurance companies can repair chips and cracks in your windscreen for free and without affecting your excess.

8. Check the weather forecast and road traffic

traffic jam in bad weather snowBefore you head off anywhere in bad conditions, whether it is heavy rain, gale force winds or snow falling, please check the weather forecast. If the weather is bad along the route you would normally drive, check google maps, AA route planner or your preferred sat nav for traffic updates. Chances are the motorway routes have accidents on them and then you could get stuck in standstill traffic for hours. Either don’t travel if you avoid it, or drive a different route that avoids the accident areas.

 

9. Check you have these winter items in your car boot

It’s always a good idea to carry more windscreen wash as you get through a lot of it when the road salt keeps making your windscreen dirty. If you’ve had your winter car service done by Martin, you’ll already have had your windscreen wash and coolant topped up. Also put these items in your boot: a demister, an ice scraper, high vis jacket for everyone in the car, a torch, blanket, water, shovel (for the snow) and even a few snacks. Then if you get stuck somehwere in your car, you can make the wait for a breakdown service more pleasant.

things to carry in your car boot in winter: Winter survival kit for car boot includes a fully-charged prepaid mobile phone, a multi-tool, blanket, snacks, water, deicer, ice scraper

10. Car breakdown cover

As a fail safe backup, if you have bad luck and breakdown somewhere you’ll feel calmer with membership from the AA, Green Flag or the RAC.

We hope this helps you feel ready and safe from any bad weather coming your way!