driving in the snowYou have probably seen the recent weather forecasts for the big freeze in Europe. Well according to the experts the very cold weather could head our way. Which means a change in road conditions. Here are our top tips on how to drive safely in snow and other bad weather conditions.

  • Before driving make sure your car is well maintained with these basic checks:
    • Check the antifreeze
    • Check your tyre tread depth using the 20p test (the tread should come over the rim on the 20p like in this video).
    • Ensure your windscreen wipers are working.
    • Check the lights in your car are working correctly.
  •  If it has snowed already then you will need to remove it from your car:
    • Clear the snow off all windows and mirrors (including  the back ones in case you have to reverse)
    • Clear the snow from the car lights (both front and rear)
    • Clear most of the snow off the roof as you don’t want an avalanche down your windscreen if you brake suddenly
  • If you need to defrost your car before you leave here are our brief do’s and don’ts.
    • DO: Use an ice-scraper and a de-icer spray
    • DON’T: Pour boiling water onto your windscreen – it can cause cracks.
    • DO: Clean ice off the side and rear mirrors for better visibility.
    • DON’T: Use hands to demist windows – you’ll only leave a smeary mess and diamond ring scratches
    • DO: Clean misted up windows with a lint-free absorbent cloth
    • DON’T: Drive away with misted windows as driving with limited visibility can be extremely dangerous. Wait until you have full visibility.
  • Only make the journey by car if it is completely necessary and drive according to the conditions. Make extra time for the journey and take it slowly.
  • Use common sense to prevent accidents:
    • Keep your lights on to make sure you can be seen (but dipped so you don’t dazzle oncoming vehicles).
    • Look out for debris on the road if there are strong winds.
    • Keep safe distances from cars in front and be aware of oncoming traffic (if they brake hard there is a risk of skidding on ice).
    • If you find the car behind is driving too close to you, pull over where you can and let them pass.
  • Before leaving for a long journey give your car a once over. Check the fluid levels, oil and make sure there is enough fuel in the tank in case you get stranded somewhere. 
  • Finally, be sensible. The cold weather can cause accidents, road blocks and you may find yourself stuck somewhere for some time. Be prepared and pack a breakdown kit in your car. It could include:
    • A shovel for snowy conditions
    • A torch
    • De-icer and scraper
    • Blankets
    • Walking boots/shoes in case you have to walk to safety
    • Spare food and drinks
    • Keep a mobile phone fully charged in case you need to call out the emergency services.

Remember, only make the journey if completely necessary. And safe driving this winter. 

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