Having a can of de-icer and a scraper to hand might seem like common sense in the morning, but most people leave common sense at the door when it comes to preparing for – and driving in – winter.
Winter can be brutal and should we have a particularly bad season it pays to be prepared. So here is our guide to making sure you’re road ready this winter:
Before the weather gets any worse and the queues at the garage are unmanageable, get your car serviced and ready for winter:
- Check your tyre condition. Tread depth, tyre pressure and overall condition.
- Ensure your battery is fully charged, your lights are all working and the wipers are all in order.
- Make sure your brakes are working well.
- Ensure all your fluids are topped up.
Put together an emergency kit. It may seem overly cautious – but we have all heard the horror stories. Let’s make sure you’re not the next one:
- Warning triangle
- First Aid kit
- Warm clothes or a blanket
- De-icing equipment
- Emergency supplies; food, water etc.
- Mobile phone and charger
Be prepared to adapt your driving for the conditions:
- Reduce your speed. It might be desirable to get the journey out of the way as fast as possible, but the old saying is as relevant today as it has always been: better late than never.
- Avoid sudden braking – again, follow the first rule and this will be easier.
- Avoid sharp steering.
- Slow down in plenty of time for any bends.
- Use lower gears to reduce your speed rather than the brakes.
- Keep your distance – and lots of it!
- Snow can build up in your wheel arches. This can cause major problems for turning. Stop regularly to clear excess snow.
If you get stuck in a snow drift:
- Put your hazard lights on.
- Don’t leave your vehicle unless it is unsafe to do so and there is shelter nearby.
- Call the breakdown services or emergency services and wait for them to come to you.
Obviously, all this advice is based on initial conditions that give you enough confidence to venture out in the first place. In very bad conditions the best advice is to avoid driving at all.
For more advice on driving in poor weather conditions including winter sunshine please visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website.
Stay safe this winter.