Driving during the winter months doesn't need to be as difficult as you may believe, especially if you keep in mind the following 11 points at all times.
1. Turn off your radio, lights and wipers before you turn the car off, as if these are left on, they can all use electricity instantly when you go to turn the car back on in the morning, which can lead to your car struggling to turn over.
2. If your car is struggling to turn over, keep trying in five second bursts every 30 seconds. Try five or six times and if it looks as though nothing is happening, try and get a jump start.
3. Antifreeze in your cooling system is essential, there's no doubt about it. However, a lot of modern engines need to have specific antifreeze and therefore if you're unsure of what antifreeze your VW Golf should be using, for example, ask your local VW dealers for advice.
4. Be sure to remove any snow from all over your car, including the roof, as whilst your windscreen might be free to start with, should you brake relatively harshly after a few minutes of driving, the snow on your car's roof could slide forward and block your vision.
5. Ensure that all of your tyres are correctly inflated and have double the minimum amount of tread on them, meaning each tyre should have at least 3mm of tread.
6. If you're driving in areas where snow is a particular popular, consider swapping to winter tyres, as they're created to perform better in the snow.
7. Try and only drive along main roads, as whilst your journey might normally be quicker if you can take small B roads, it's unlikely that they've been gritted as extensively as the major roads, which could result in your journey actually being a lot longer.
Taking everything slow and steady is the key to winter driving, from your acceleration and braking right through to your general speed - if you're going to be late for work, you're going to be late for work and it's better to arrive eventually than never at all because you rushed and were involved in an accident.
9. If you're unsure of what the roads are going to be like on a certain day during the winter, be sure to try and get out of the house 15 minutes earlier than normal. Aside from giving you time to prepare your car, it will mean you get a good judgement of the roads and if they appear busy, can pull over and call your work, for example, to let them know that it looks like you're going to be late.
10. Although it can be tempting to blast the heater on full to clear the windscreen, it will actually clear faster if you use air conditioning.
11. There are some winter driving tips which are in fact myths and it's important to be aware of these, such as the popular misconception that you should deflate your tyres to get a better grip in the snow. This doesn't work and will do nothing but mean your wheels keep spinning in the same spot.