From preparing your car right to knowing what to do in different conditions, every tip is necessary to stay as safe as possible in the coming months.
1. Prepare and check your car
Importantly, this includes checking the tread of your tyre and making sure they're at a minimum of 1.6mm, but preferably they should be around 3mm.
Planning your route out is essential – you don’t want to be taking roads you don’t know, especially when the conditions are bad. And finally, check all your lights are working as visibility is much poorer in the winter months.
2. Pack essentials
Items such as extra clothing and blankets can be useful to keep you warm.
However, if it’s something that may be fixable by yourself, bringing a shovel, scraper and a torch can help. If it looks like it might not be a fixable problem, having a phone to be able to contact someone is vital. Having a portable charger stashed away somewhere in your car would be great if you know your phone is low on charge, but still need to leave quickly.
Lastly, having water and non-perishable snacks such as granola bars or dried fruit available is a must when you don’t know how long you’re going to be there.
3. Read the road
If conditions deteriorate and the roads become icy/covered in snow, then knowing how to drive on such roads is very important.
If you do begin driving in these conditions, it’s important to accelerate slowly and shift to a higher gear as quickly as possible using low revs throughout.
When coming up to a corner, you need to brake progressively on the straight before the bend, avoiding any sudden movements that might upset the grip of the tyres. Make sure you’re always checking your surroundings and thinking one step ahead.
When driving behind a car in slippery conditions it’s critical to keep around 10 or more car lengths in between you and them as the braking distance is significantly increased with icy conditions.
4. Visibility checks
With the winter weather comes poor visibility, which of course is quite dangerous when it comes to driving.
Windshields seem to be the main victim of colder weather as they freeze over with the dropping temperatures. To combat this, get a jug of lukewarm water and pour it over the windscreen. Then grab your ice scraper – the ice should be melted enough so that it’ll take little to no effort to scrape it off without damaging your car.
As long as you take time to prepare your drive and make all the precautionary checks, you're giving yourself the best possibility of staying safe this winter!
And remember everyone’s life matters on roads, so stay safe and be careful.