Winter Driving Tips from Mitsubishi
In All Conditions:
Make sure you have the right tyres and tread depth
Tyres do not wear evenly, make sure you check the right hand, middle and left hand side of the tyre for the tread depth; if you do not have access to a tread depth gauge then a 20p piece will do the trick. Place the coin vertically in the groove of the tyre and if you can see the outer ring of the coin then this means your tread depth is less than 3mm and you should think about replacing that tyre. If you would like a professional evaluation then head to your local Mitsubishi dealership.
Ensure you have the correct tyre for the road conditions and consider swapping to winter tyres from October to March each year for safety. The wear on summer tyres increases when used in temperatures below 7°C, increasing wear by up to 20%. For more information about winter tyres please see our winter tyres FAQ's.
Low tyre tread depths can have a detrimental effect on the stopping distance of a vehicle, the difference between having 3mm and 1.6mm of tread left on your tyres could increase stopping distance by as much as 44 metres, the length of four double decker buses. Remember there are only four small contact patches between you and the road, make sure you maximise these.
Ensure you have sufficient fuel
No matter how short your journey is, ensure you have at least a quarter of a tank of fuel. You never know how long you could get stuck for, so don’t get caught out.
Tiredness could have an effect similar to drink driving, ensure you stop every two hours on long journeys to get some fresh air and refreshments. Bad weather will only cause more stress and fatigue.
Stay up to date
Make sure you are aware of the traffic conditions before you set off and switch on your Traffic Programme (TP) so can avoid any dangerous roads or accidents.
In Icy or Snowy Conditions:
Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front
Stopping in icy conditions will have an effect on the distance it takes to come to a standstill; you may need to allow up to 10 times the normal distance for braking.
Use your headlights correctly in bad weather
Bad conditions such as hail, heavy rain, fog or snow can all reduce visibility. All new Mitsubishis come with Daytime Running Lights to help make you more visible but in bad weather you should ensure you have your main headlights switched on so that you can be seen from in front and behind. Weather such as fog and snow in particular can reflect light back at you so the best way to use your headlights if often to have them on low beam. You’ll find you actually see more in these conditions than you do with full beam.
Avoid heavy braking if possible
Harsh braking and acceleration, or coarse steering could cause you to lose control of the vehicle, make sure you give yourself time on slippery surfaces.
Reduce speed for bends and corners
Taking a bend too quickly for the road conditions may lead to an accident, ease off the accelerator and reduce your steering movements as much as possible. Be aware of black ice which can form when rain freezes on the road surface, it will make your steering feel light.
Maintain a lower gear than normal if possible
Try to brake less on ice and snow to avoid locking your wheels, use engine braking to slow the car down if driving a manual vehicle.
Remove excess snow
Make sure excess snow is removed from the windscreen, windows, wheel arches, lights and number plate before setting off. Remove snow from the roof of the vehicle, as this could slide off the car during travel, potentially covering the windscreen and blocking your view.
Plan in advance
Ensure you know where you are going before you set off so you can maintain full concentration on the road. If you're using a satellite navigation system for your journey, avoid smaller roads - which may be untreated. The shortest route may not always be the safest. Keep emergency essentials in your vehicle, including a blanket and a shovel.
Take care around winter maintenance vehicles
Maintain a safe distance behind grit and salt vehicles, and make sure you have plenty of screenwash to sustain visibility.
Be aware, road laws aren’t always the same abroad
Many European countries experience colder temperatures and it may be compulsory to fit winter tyres. In some countries, you may face fines if your vehicle is not fitted with winter tyres.
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- If driving on snow covered roads between November 1st and April 15th winter or all-season tyres must be fitted. Outside of these dates when driving on snow, tyres must have minimum tread depth of 4mm.
- From December 1st to February 28th/29th unless otherwise indicated by road signs, tyres must have the all season tyres mark M+S on the sidewall. Spiked/studded tyres may be used from November 1st to the first Monday after Easter.
- Winter or All Season tyres are compulsory on all vehicles in wintry conditions; tyre must display M+S tyre mark or snowflake on sidewall of the tyre.
- Between October 15th and April 15th or if the conditions dictate, be aware that individual provinces can introduce their own laws on the use of winter tyres and snow chains.
- Winter tyres marked with M+S (with or without spikes or studs) are compulsory between December 1st and March 31st for all vehicles and trailers (minimum tread depth of 3mm).
- Vehicles without winter tyres that are deemed to impede traffic and are not equipped to travel in snow could be subject to a fine.