Tip & Tricks

Things You Must Know But Do Not Remember When Driving in Winter

by Mike Aven

The festive period is on its way, and anyone is likely to be driving to meet friends and family.

While severe weather has not affected any roads yet, it is better to be prepared with useful advice prior any road trip.

 

Check your emergency kit

Winter season not only brings presents under our Christmas trees but also prepares surprises every time you attempt to use your car. Be equipped with the items below; you never know when you might need to use them!

  1. Ice scraper
  2. Torch with batteries
  3. Warm blankets for yourself and all passengers
  4. Boots
  5. First aid kit
  6. A shovel
  7. Navigation system
  8. Sunglasses (sunny day in snowy winter can be dazzling)

 

The pre-journey safety checklist

How can you even know you are safe to drive without checking the substantial things? Use the following safety check before your trip:

  1. Petrol. Check your petrol and make sure you know where to fill up.
  2. Oil. Check the oil levels at least once in a month.
  3. Water. Check the screenwash.
  4. Damage. Check if any wear and tear damage exists.
  5. Electrics. Check the lights, and other indicators and controls are operating
  6. Rubber. Check that the tyres are inflated and free of damage
  7. Yourself. Are you sure you are safe to drive?

Always pay attention

How often do you plan your journey? Well, on winter and holiday season it is more important to plan the trip and stay cautious even if you think you know the road.

Be prepared to slow down as the road might be slippery, especially on curvy roads. Do not think that you are secured just because you drive the way every day, conditions change all the time and it is better to pay attention continuously.

If you are on a long journey, do not be greedy on some little breaks from time to time. You will be able to restore your attention and rest your eyes.

Check out the latest information on the road conditions while safely parked only. Remember to minimise if not diminish your distraction on the cell phone while driving.

Driving through snow

Individual authorities work hard to look after the majority of the roads. Usually, the networks are clear during the unpleasant weather conditions. Therefore, try to plan your trip by sticking to the main roads and avoiding opened routes.

While snowfall or blizzard might be correctly forecasted, it takes a reasonable time to clear the roads for your safe ride home. This process becomes even more complicated if the path is full of stationary traffic, as no plough can get through. Try to be patient and give your local authority team some space to do the job for your pleasant and safe journey.

Another challenging part of the trip on winter is usually seen on steep hills and opened roads. If you know there are ways to avoid these roads; you need to use them as they might be covered in ice. Make sure other drivers can see you and can be seen by you. Thoroughly clean the windows, lights and other parts of the car from ice and snow.

Remember to leave even more space between you and the vehicles around. Slippery conditions cause difficulties to stop in time, while road markings may be invisible.

Driving in rains

The sun will eventually do its job, but possible problems do not stop from here. A wet road is as dangerous as driving on ice, slow down and remember to maintain the necessary distance from the car in front.

In case of a situation when your car loses grip on the road because of puddles, do not push the brake suddenly. Try to take your foot away from the accelerator to make the car slow down.

When facing a flooded road, remember to slow down as you may not know how deep the puddle is. A car can be caught in a hydroplaning just with 30 centimetres of flowing water. If no alternatives exist but to drive through flooded areas, drive slowly and at a low pace. Try to keep the vehicle to move without intermissions to avoid stalling the engine. Whereas, in an automatic car hold a low gear. Always test your brakes after you drove through the water as they might be ineffective.

Timing matters

In severe weather, anything can happen. Thus, always be prepared for some extra time on your journey. Listen carefully to any warning and consider if your trip is necessary.

Ask yourself- is it possible to travel before the time when severe weather is forecasted? Or you can wait until it is over? Maybe, you can work from home for today? At least give some space for the crews to clean the roads after the snowfall. It all matters.

If you have to travel with pets, take your time to ensure that they will be safe and secure in the vehicle. Ensure that your passengers will not be distracted by the animal. If you think you are not sure how to prepare your journey in such circumstances, do not hesitate to seek some advice and ask for a professional opinion.

There can be numerous pressures to make a journey - the need to get to work as soon as possible, make a delivery or meet your family at Christmas. Remember that none of the reasons above is as important as your safety.

If you feel that cannot drive your car for some reason, just book our designated driver, and they will do it for yours!