De-icing - Do It The Safe Way
11 December 2017
It’s that time of year again, the frosty mornings are here. That means that you are going to be de-icing your car, so make sure you do it safely.
You need to thoroughly defrost your windscreen to drive safely and legally. You must be able to see through your windscreen. If you do drive with a frosty windscreen that means you can’t see clearly you could end up with a £60 fine and three penalty points. So, don’t take a chance.
The Right Way To Do It
Use de-icer and an ice scraper, spray the de-icer and then follow with the ice scraper until the ice is clear. Also ensure you spray your wiper blades liberally and lift them from the screen to ensure they are not frozen to it.
Once all the ice is clear from the outside of the windscreen and you are sure that your wipers are not frozen, you need to ensure that there is no condensation on the inside of the window. This can be cleared with the air conditioning. Turn it to full power and on the hottest setting, direct it to the windscreen and wait for it to clear. Alternatively, it can be wiped off with a chamois sponge quickly and easily, but watch out for streaks being left behind.
Then you are ready to go, safely and legally.
What Not To Do
Don’t use hot water when deicing the screen. Hot water on a frozen windscreen can weaken the glass. In a worst-case scenario, it can even crack the windscreen. So, stick to de-icer and a scraper it might take a bit longer, but it could save you time and money in the longrun
It is tempting to turn on the ignition and head back into your house to finish off your cup of tea while letting your car heat up and melt the ice. As tempting as it is, leaving the engine running on a vehicle parked on the public road is an offence under regulations 98 and 107 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which could land you with a £40 fine.
It also makes your car easier to steal. Car thieves know that on cold morinings people leave their cars running to defrost. In one morning alone, four cars were stolen in a small area of West Sussex when the owners left their cars running to defrost. Your car could be gone in seconds, and your insurance is unlikely to cover your loss as you have left the keys in the car.
Running your car to defrost it also costs you for the fuel that is being used. If that wasn’t bad enough, it adds to air pollution around your home. That means your family and friends will be breathing in the pollution from your vehicle and everyone else that is doing the same thing.