With snow forecast for the end of February, we've compiled some of the most important Winter driving tips and tricks to keep you safe.
Thought that we'd be heading out of the cold, into the new light of spring? Think again - the Met Office has set in place a snow warning for the next week as the cold snap returns. The british transport network is much maligned for how it copes during even the briefest flurries of snow, so if you're getting on the road, there are a few tips and tricks that might help make your journey as smooth and seamless as possible.
Preparing your vehicle
- All the lights should be clean and working
- Brakes are working properly
- Battery is fully charged
- Tyre condition, trade depth must be legal limit.
- Brake fluid, battery level and screen wash should be checked and re-stocked regularly and before a long journey.
Plan your journey
While if you're travelling on main roads, the risk of being marooned or off the grid is signficantly lower, if your journey is more remote its worth preparing for every eventuality. Make sure you have:
- Tow rope
- Car blanket, warm clothes
- First aid kit
- Hot food and drink
- Mobile phone charger
- De-icing equipment
There's likely to be delays due to icy, slippery roads, a collision or road works so always allow extra time for winter journeys.
Driving in snow
- Drive slow as the chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively
- Avoid overtaking, harsh braking/acceleration or sharp steering
- Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front; you may need up to 10 times than normal distance braking
- Don’t do tailgating – keep your distance
- Use dipped headlights in reduced visibility
- In an event of skidding, it is a good idea to gently test your brakes and steering to ensure its working properly.
- Stay aware of your surroundings
- Don’t stop going up a hill and drive slow down the hill.
In event of breakdown
If the worst happens:
- First of all, put your hazard lights on
- Pull over your vehicle as soon as it safe to do so! On motorways, try to pull out left on the hard shoulder
- On the motorway, look out for the driver location sign to help your operator
- Stay in your car
In these treacherous conditions, its worth remembering that the best advice is to only take the journey if its absolutely necessary, settle down with a box set and get warm! Just don't tell your boss we said so.