Seeing out through the ice

25th January, 2017

January has proved to be a very cold and icy month so far, giving drivers a frost to start to the day. Dealing with a frozen windscreen and windows first thing in the morning can create an unwanted delay on the daily commute or school run but it’s vital to make sure that you can see clearly before driving.

The Highway Code is very clear on what you should do before setting off:

You MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from ALL your windows
You MUST ensure that your lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
You MUST make sure your mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly

Because not all roads are gritted, it also warns that stopping distances can be up to ten times greater on icy roads compared to dry roads so keeping your distance from the vehicle in front can prevent an accident.

To adhere to the Highway Code’s guidance and make sure that all your windows are clear, what’s the best method of de-icing?

To avoid the ‘early morning scrape’ you could try placing a cover or a towel soaked in a solution of water and table salt on your windscreen. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so moisture is prevented from frosting over on your screen. 

You could also use a frost-fighting solution of one part water to two parts alcohol to pour over your windscreen in the morning. An alternative mix is three parts vinegar to one part water.

And what shouldn’t you do?

Pouring boiling water on your car windscreen or using a credit card to scrape off the ice are both “No-nos”. Both can cause damage to your car. The sudden change in temperature from boiling water could lead to the glass cracking and a credit card can scratch the screen as well as potentially cracking or breaking itself. Never use anything other than a car-specific scraper.

Driving in icy conditions can be hazardous, so, with overnight sub-zero temperatures expected to continue, you need to make sure your winter gritting and snow clearing is organised. Call us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs. 

An icy windscreen

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