Your Complete Winter Driving Guide!
Winter is coming, bringing changeable and more dangerous driving conditions, with many motorists being caught out by snow, ice and water on the roads. In your typical winter period, according to data from the Department for Transport (DfT), snow and ice are directly linked to 29 fatalities and more than 2,500 injuries in the UK a year.
For even the most experienced drivers, some journeys can become very treacherous and quite scary at times. The weather itself can cause major delays and if the weather does take a turn for the worse, you can find yourself stuck.
With the typical weather warnings in place for the coming months, we want to make sure you’re well prepared and don’t become another statistic!
Looking after your vehicle
In addition to your usual vehicle maintenance, here are some tips to help winterize:
- Test your battery; battery power drops as the temperature drops
- Make sure the cooling system is in good working order
- Have winter tires with a deeper, more flexible tread put on your car if possible
- If using all-season tires, check the tread on your tires and replace if less than 2/32 of an inch
- Check the tire pressure; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops
- Check your wiper blades and replace if needed
- Add wiper fluid rated for -30 degrees
- Keep your petrol tank always at least half full
- Know your vehicles capabilities and prepare for any areas it is lacking
- Try to stay at home when possible and only go out if absolutely necessary
- If you must travel, share your travel plans with someone before you leave
- Check the travel reports before starting your journey
- Allow extra time to account for any delays and slower journeys
- Ensure your car’s external camera lenses and side view mirrors are clean and clear
- Increase your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly when on roads that are wet or have been gritted
- Don't power up hills or stop when going uphill
Be prepared by having a winter emergency kit in your vehicle
With the possibility you should find yourself stuck in your car whilst travelling this winter, here are a list of essentials you should take on your journey:
- A blanket, rug or sleeping bag.
- Ice scraper and de-icer.
- Torch and batteries.
- Snacks and drinks
- Extra screen wash.
- Severe weather extras such as waterproofs, sturdy footwear, gloves etc.
- A charger and a fully charged phone would also be handy