With winter just around the corner, it’s important for drivers to start making preparations. You’re more likely to have a breakdown at this time of year than any other. And with challenging road connections leaving you in the lurch, you could be stranded for a while or face an accident in slippery conditions. Here are just a few tips for drivers:
Wake Up Early
In winter, it’s hard to muster the will to leave bed, let alone get up early. However, for a safe journey on the road, you need to set your alarm ten minutes before you need to be out of bed, so you can start prepping the vehicle. You shouldn’t be driving around like a tank-commander. Your windscreens and mirrors should be completely clear.
In Good Nick
Your car should be running well. Bear in mind that batteries don’t last more than 5 year and that the tread on your tires should be at least 3mm – you need a lot of grip to navigate icy landscapes. Winter is the most important time to ensure that you take good care of your car; no-one wants to be stranded in a blizzard.
Safety always comes first, when the weather is cold, rather than punctuality. Wear comfortable and practical shoes for driving and have some emergency supplies in the back. Avoid having to break, by keeping a steady speed and keeping a generous space between cars. Drive very gently and keep your speed down.
If possible, don’t stop mid-hill, as you may struggle to start back up again and this could lead to all sorts of problems. When moving from stationary, pull away slowly in second gear and ease your foot off the clutch.
Plan out your journey in advance and try to follow the major roads, as they’re likely to be safer and receive the most attention from ploughs and gritters. Try to stay in a low gear and apply breaks softly. If you start skidding, release the breaks and the clutch immediately.
Winter glare can be painful, so keep some shades in the glove compartment, to block out the light. Also, keep some antifreeze around to de-ice your car. A scraper is a must.
It’s advisable to stock your car with a box of supplies, just in case you breakdown or have an accident. Waiting around for help can take a while, when the roads are atrocious, so stock up on blankets, non-perishable foods, water, torches, and games to pass the time. Keep emergency numbers somewhere safe, such as the AA and driving solicitors.
For long journeys, take the time to stop and get a warm drink. Winter driving requires more concentration than usual and this can wear out the brain. Before you attempt the trip, ask yourself if it’s necessary, and check for any weather warnings. Know where gas stations are, along the way.
The above post was made possible and contributed by our partner sponsor Driving Offence.
Photo credit: www. drag-city.com.