It’s safe to say the colder months have safely arrived. While we are all likely very prepared in our homes with the heating on and by wrapping up in hats, coats and scarves when out and about, more important than staying warm is staying safe, particularly when out and about on the roads. Here, we give our top tips for preparing for and staying safe while driving in the winter months.
- Get your car looked at by a professional
If there is one time of year when getting a professional to check your car over is vital then in advance of the winter months is it. Many garages offer discounted services or winter check packages when the weather starts to turn so keep your eyes out for and make the most of any good deals available.
- Carry out your own checks
If you can avoid driving in severe or adverse weather conditions then it’s advisable to do so. However, for any journey made in the colder weather it’s worth doing your own checks in advance of driving to be on the safe side. This includes checking you have plenty of fuel in case your journey takes longer than planned or you get stuck in traffic. Check your anti-freeze levels and make sure your washers are working properly. Check your tyre tread to ensure you have the appropriate grip for potentially icy conditions and make sure all of your water and oil levels are tip top to avoid breaking down and getting stuck out in the cold,
- Pack a ‘just in case’ box
Despite our best efforts, sometimes the worst still happens and we either break down or get stuck on the side of the road. If this should happen, it’s a really good idea to have an emergency box of items that could come in handy in exactly this predicament. This should include warm clothes, blankets, snacks, a torch and a portable charger to name but a few items. The AA has a good list of additional considerations here: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter-checklist
- Make sure you’re covered
As with the above, despite our best preparations, breakdowns do occur. If this does happen, it can become costly to call out professional help if you are not covered for this type of assistance. Before the conditions deteriorate, it’s worth checking to see what kind of coverage you have and investigating what, if any, additional cover might be appropriate for your needs.
- Give yourself enough time
This final point may seem obvious but it’s amazing how buying yourself a little time before hitting the road could pay dividends once out. Planning ahead so you have plenty of time to prepare your car and then to actually make your journey will help you avoid driving with frosted or steamed up widows, rushing in treacherous conditions or hitting traffic when you just want to get back in the warm, to name but a few benefits. Ensure you have planned your journey, checked the travel updates and properly thawed your car before you leave to avoid any uncomfortable, or worse, unsafe situations later on.