The six undeniable truths of winter driving

Image of a car in snow
Roger's attempt to 'test the capabilities' of his 4x4 hadn't worked out quite as he'd planned
"When you get in your car, your windows will be steamed up. Impatiently, you might reach for a mucky rag to get rid of it rather than waiting for your car’s blowers to do their magic"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Winter – a crisp chill in the air, a twinkling sprinkle of frost on the hedges and steam coming from your nostrils as you step outside the door and face the drive to work.

Here’s a selection of scenarios which will almost certainly befall you over the coming cold months.

1. You'll have to scrape ice off your window using some sort of improvised tool

Image of someone scraping ice off a car windscreen

Despite the widespread gifting of purpose built ice-scrapers (often with amusing furry gloved holding receptacles) at Christmas time, few of us actually bother to do the sensible thing and keep them to hand in our car for when the weather turns.

Cue drivers reaching for CD and cassette cases (how retro), lids of Tupperware containers and whatever else that’s edged, made of plastic and near to hand.

2. Your car will get disgustingly dirty

Image of a grimy car in winter

Gritters and wet roads make for filthy cars.

By December, don’t be surprised if your ride is caked with salty grime, in which local scallywags will take great delight in writing ‘clean me’ and other less polite slogans with their fingertips.

3. Visibility will be an issue

A steamed up window

When you get in your car, your windows will get steamed up. Impatiently, you might reach for a mucky rag to get rid of it rather than waiting for your car’s blowers to do their magic.

But this is folly – it just makes your windscreen dirtier, meaning that condensation will become even more of an issue.

Grime on the road will get on your windscreen too, so your washers will be working overtime. Don’t forget to top them up, perhaps using an anti-freeze additive so they don't ice up.

While we're on the subject, beware of the tell-tale squeak of a worn-down wiper blade. This is an indication that they need to be changed.

4. You won’t be able to find sunglasses for love nor money

A lady wearing sunglasses

Britain’s fashion retailers tend to pack away the sunglasses section in September, despite low winter sun causing millions of drivers to squint their way to work every day.

They’d do a roaring trade if they kept them on sale.

5. You'll laugh at owners of expensive rear-wheel drive cars if it snows

Image of a wheel spinning

Rear-wheel drive cars are notoriously difficult to get going if there’s snow on the ground.

Cue lots of drivers hilariously revving their car and the back wheels spinning futilely.

6. You'll contemplate buying Partridge-style driving gloves, and perhaps even wear them

Image of Alan Partridge style driving gloves

Unless you’ve got a fancy car with self-heating gubbins, the cold touch of your steering wheel will make you recoil in the mornings.

Perhaps a fetching pair of leather driving gloves, as popularised by Norfolk’s own Alan Partridge, could be just the ticket…

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