With the cold weather setting in, many of us Brits are waking up to frosty mornings, but did you know that things have tightened up around how we prepare to drive in cold conditions?

Now, motorists are being warned that the way in which you de-ice your car is more important than you think and cars which haven’t been de-iced correctly will lead to fines for their drivers.

Also referred to as ‘pothole vision’, the practice is frequently seen when a car’s windscreen hasn’t been correctly defrosted and ice remains on the glass obscuring a driver’s vision. However, many don’t realise this puts them at risk of a £60 fine.

Avoiding this is easy to do by taking a few precautions in the morning before driving away in your car.

Firstly, resist the temptation to leave your car unattended while it warms up. This can also invalidate your insurance and exposes the car to theft.

Throwing boiling water on your windscreen is also a common mistake. Boiling water, while dangerous to be throwing at any time, can irreparably damage your windscreen because of the drastic change from freezing to boiling temperatures.

The water might clean your windscreen temporarily, but if temperatures are still at freezing point, the water can create dangerous ice patches on the ground for you or someone else to slip on later.

The only things you should be using on your windscreen are a de-icer spray and an ice scraper. Spray the de-icer— which is available from many supermarkets or motoring supplies stores —across the top of the windscreen and allow it to cover all of the glass.

Pay attention to the windscreen wipers and washer jets too, to ensure these aren’t frozen.

When the de-icer has worked its magic, clear any remaining ice with a scraper and carry on with your day.

Ted Welford


January 2, 2019

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