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Essential safety tips: why it’s important to demist your car windows

18th Feb, 2019

British weather is never predictable, but one thing for sure is that the months of February and March will bring more than their fair share of cold, wet and windy weather… even if we do get the odd pleasant day thrown in to confuse us! That’s why car maintenance is so important at this time of year (right up until the point you decide to scrap your car, of course). One essential car safety tip in winter and early spring is to demist your car windows, and here’s why it’s something you should keep your eye on.

Safety first for you and others

We take our cars for granted when we want to get from A to B, and we can easily go into autopilot, especially if we’ve been driving for many years. It’s vital to remember that cars can inadvertently become dangerous weapons if they develop a problem or aren’t properly maintained, and that can put ourselves, other road users and pedestrians in danger. An MOT is a yearly check that ensures our car meets the minimum legal requirements, but we should carry out regular safety checks ourselves, and one of the most important things to check and correct if necessary is the visibility through the windscreen.

The effects of misting

Everyone knows that you should keep at least two seconds between yourself and the car in front, or at least four seconds in rain, but a foggy windscreen can present even more of a hazard, and it’s much more likely to occur during the colder months of the year. The root of the problem is condensation, and this can rapidly occur when the temperature inside the car is significantly colder than the temperature outside; that’s because warm, moist air created by a heater or air conditioning comes into contact with a windscreen which is cold because of external factors. The result is a mist which can rapidly develop, making it unsafe to continue driving.

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How to demist your windows

You should always demist your windows before you start driving if they already have condensation on them, rather than setting off and trying to demist and drive at the same time. If mist develops while you’re driving, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. Switch on the blower and wipe away condensation (opening the side windows will help too, if it’s safe to do this). Never have damp items such as coats or towels in your vehicle on a cold day, as this can encourage misting. You should also clean your car thoroughly on a regular basis, and polish the windows to prevent condensation adhering to the surface.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the age and condition of the car can be a factor, so it might be worth thinking about scrapping your old car and investing in a newer model. And if you’ve decided it’s finally time to scrap your car, we’re exactly the people to help! We’ve designed our process so that it’s as simple and as streamlined as possible. All we need is your car reg and postcode, and you’ll find yourself looking at your very own instant online quote.