Now that winter is here, conditions on the road can become more difficult and dangerous. Rain, snow, fog and icy road surfaces can all make winter driving more hazardous. The shorter daylight hours also mean you're more likely to be driving in low visibility situations or in total darkness. To ensure that you stay safe on the roads this winter, here are three vital safety checks for your car that you should do as soon as possible.
1. Tyre condition
Having tyres that are in good condition and have adequate tread is vital for staying safe on the road, particularly during the winter months. Tyres with worn tread or bald patches provide limited traction on the road and increase your chances of losing control whilst driving.
If you haven't had your tyres checked recently, then book an appointment with a tyre safety check specialist for an assessment of their condition. You may need to replace some or all of your tyres to ensure that they'll provide optimum performance in less than ideal conditions.
2. Wheel alignment
Having the correct wheel alignment is also an important safety check for your car. Wheels that are out of alignment may not provide the on-road stability that you need to provide maximum safety. They can also cause uneven or excessive wear on your tires, which will can limit the lifespan and reliability of your tyres.
Wheel alignments are important, even if you haven't been in a collision. Even a small bump on a kerb can cause an imbalance, or the wheels may not have been correctly aligned when you had your last set of tyres fitted.
3. Brake condition
Even if you have the most high-tech and expensive tyres fitted on your car, without properly working brakes, you are still placing yourself in unnecessary danger when driving. The ability to stop your car quickly and effectively is always important, but it's even more imperative during winter with the increased risk of skidding or losing traction on wet and icy roads.
A full inspection of your brakes will identify any components that require servicing or replacing. In some cases, particularly with older model cars, replacing the entire brake system might be safer and more cost effective than attempting to fix individual components.
Most tyre specialists can provide all three inspections at the same time, which is a smart move for both saving money and saving time. Contact your local tyre specialist to organise these safety inspections, which may even save your life this winter.