30 October 2022
As daylight-saving time ends in the UK this weekend, it has been revealed that two in five people (40%) said they would prefer the clocks to remain unchanged.
Older drivers (aged 55-64) were most likely to favour keeping the clocks at Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round, continuing the age-old debate on whether clocks should be changed at all.
The winding back of our clocks at 2am on 30th October will bring with it the potential for changes in weather and driving conditions – so now may be a good time to make sure your vehicle is winter-ready. Lights, all-around vision, and tyres are vital parts of your winter vehicle preparation.
Check your lights and wipers
When the clocks go back, lighting faults that may have gone unnoticed during the summer months can become more apparent. The motoring organisation is encouraging drivers to check their cars for any blown bulbs to help them ‘see and be seen’ and stay within the law. Two of the autumnal factors that start to influence road collisions, broken lights and poor vision through the windscreen, tend to contribute to five to six road deaths a year, although last year saw that drop to three.**
Sean Sidley, AA Patrol of the Year, said: “The clocks going back is a great reminder to make sure your car is ready for winter.
“The winter brings low sun and dirty roads so it’s naturally very important to maintain clear vision. One easy car maintenance task to tick off this weekend is topping up the windscreen wash with a good quality, purpose-made additive to reduce the chance of freezing in the cold weather. While you’re at it, run your finger down the wiper blades to check for nicks and tears, as they tend to last for two years at the most.
“Also give the windscreen a thorough clean, inside and out, as a layer of grime quickly builds up and you’d be surprised what a difference it makes at reducing dazzle. While there may not be too many fresh flowers around at this time of year, the AA’s handy FLOWER acronym will help drivers remember what to check on their car.”
FLOWER stands for Fuel, Lights, Oil, Water, Electrics, Rubber
Get a grip as conditions change
In addition to increased fuel consumption, badly worn or under-inflated tyres can have a negative effect on vehicle handling, especially in the winter months when grip on our roads is naturally reduced. Many drivers rely on their tyre pressure warning light to alert them to any tyre defects, but visual checks are also an important part of your vehicle preparation.
Sean Sidley said: “It’s vital to make sure that your car’s tyres are in good condition. Worn tyres are not only more likely to suffer a blow-out, but in the event of a downpour, a worn tyre is likely to aquaplane, meaning a significantly increased stopping distance and loss of control. Tyre pressure warning systems on your dashboard can be really useful (if your car has this feature) but it’s not just the pressure that needs to be checked.
“When doing a visual check, start with the tread depth, then look for any damage or defects such as cracks or bulges. Drivers often forget to check the spare tyre, which can be a problem if you hit a pothole and suffer a puncture only to find that the spare isn’t usable.
“Tyre problems are one of the main reasons its members call the AA for help, with more than one tyre-related breakdown every minute – and worryingly, the motoring organisation find that around a third of failed tyres have a tread depth below the 1.6mm legal limit. It recommends tyres with a tread depth of 2mm or less should be replaced before embarking on a long journey. Replacing your tyres before they reach the legal limit will also save you from a potential fine and points on your licence”.
The AA has been named Which? Recommended Provider for five years running. Learn more on theaa.com.
*AA-Yonder survey of 13,091 members between 11th – 19th October 2022. Yonder is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
**Reported road collisions, vehicles and casualties tables for Great Britain. - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)