Being a taxi driver during the winter months is a tough job.
With long dark nights, freezing temperatures and bad weather conditions, as well as busy roads, especially in the lead up to Christmas, its no wonder our vehicles and our driving is challenged.
With more accidents and breakdowns reported than at any other time of year, we want to help keep you and your taxi safely on the road.
So here’s Patons top 5 tips for winter driving:
Check your battery
Car batteries rarely last longer than five years, and lights, heating and wipers can put extra demands on them. Also clamps and cables can corrode which restricts the current flow. If your battery isn’t holding its charge very well then it might be time to have it professionally checked or replaced.
Top up antifreeze
If you don’t use antifreeze your car’s radiator and other components could be seriously damaged if the water in them freezes. Always remember when topping up, don’t remove the filler cap unless the engine is cold, you could be scalded by a sudden release of pressurised hot water. Also make sure you use the right sort of antifreeze, different types don’t mix well.
Clean your windscreen
Before starting any journey always ensure your windscreen is clean, both inside and out. Make sure you use a suitable additive in your screen wash and replace worn or damaged wiper blades too. Also invest in a microfiber cloth to keep inside your car so you can quickly demist while driving.
Check your lights
Its essential for you to see and be seen, so make sure all your lights are working and that any dirt, grime and snow is regularly cleaned from the lenses. Make sure your number plates are clear too as you may get fined!
Swap to winter tyres
Normal tyres can stiffen up when the temperature drops, and while it may be hard to justify the cost, winter tyres offer exceptional grip in all bad weather conditions. Whichever you choose to use, you will need at least 3mm of tread, and don’t let the air out of your tyres to get more grip, it doesn’t work and is unsafe.
Remember: if you have an accident you might lose money waiting for your vehicle to be repaired and it will force your taxi insurance premiums to go up. Stay safe this winter and plan ahead with Patons.
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.