It’s probably safe to say that we’re all struggling in the current weather conditions on the roads. Whether it’s making us late, causing accidents or just being a nuisance to drive in; snow, ice and busy roads are three things that definitely do not work well together.
There are a few simple measures that you can take to make your daily journeys safer, and to make driving a pleasant experience again. It’s not just about driving the right car, or stocking up on warm clothing and supplies. It’s about how you understand and maintain your vehicle, and then it’s about how you handle your vehicle on the road.
Ensure your tyres are inflated correctly, if you’re unsure then check with a mechanic or garage.
In Winter Battery’s will run down quicker than normal, so just make sure that you top it up regularly or re-charge it when possible, particularly before a long journey.
3) Screen wash
A vital measure for poor weather conditions. Maintain the correct levels of wash and water, as it is often likely to freeze in cold weather.
You may have noticed that Petrol stations are busier than ever, and panic buying becomes the trend. Be observant of your fuel levels, and try not to drive on less than half a tank. If you can keep a small supply at home.
Keep windscreens clear of snow, but never use water to do this. Hot water can crack the glass, and cold water can freeze!
Get your speed right, not too fast that you lose control, but not too slow either that you risk losing momentum when you need it.
Avoid high revs, and start slowly. If you do get yourself into a skid, take your feet off the pedals and steer! Remember to only use the brake if your steering cannot get you out of trouble.
3) Stopping Distance
Double or triple your stopping distance from what you would usually leave. When the roads are icy or snow covered, you may not be able to rely on your brakes in bad weather.
4) Avoid Shortcuts
Sticks to roads that you know, and avoid small roads. It may sound obvious, but when you’ve hit a big queue you may think it’s a good idea to take that short cut… it never is!
Stay in the clearest lane possible, and keep within the clear tyre tracks if possible.
Keep dipped headlights when snow is falling, or fog lights to make you visible to pedestrians. Do not use fog lights if the weather improves, as they will dazzle other drivers.
Keep on if necessary, but make sure you turn it off for 10-15 minutes of each hour.
Make sure it is clear of snow, if you have the engine on and the exhaust is blocked you could be at risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
3) Stay Close
Stay close to your vehicle and avoid leaving it to go and investigate. The cold can often be disorientating, and you may get lost. Wait in your vehicle for help to arrive.
Photo courtesy of Surrey-Online
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