Top Tips For Motoring In Wintery Weather
With Britain braced for yet more wintery conditions here are some top tips for motoring in winter weather.
Before you set off anywhere ask yourself if it’s a journey that you really have to make. Unless it’s absolutely necessary you should check any weather or police warnings for road closures that may hinder your journey. You also need to ask yourself if risking your safety is really worth the risk. Can you work from home? Would they appreciate you any more if you battled through the elements to get into the office? Will the kids benefit from going to school today? Will the teachers have the same attitude as you or will your children be sent home from school at lunch anyway? Does your insurance cover car hire should you experience a breakdown?
If you’ve decided that you absolutely have to make that journey that can’t be put off for another day then make sure you go prepared. Think of what you’ll need if you get stranded and if you think you’re being over-dramatic and that you won’t be affected by the weather then think of all of the drivers in Scotland who recently spent the night in their cars…
So, you decide you’re going anyway. Fine, get prepared by planning your route; try to avoid country/minor roads that have less chance of being gritted. Allow plenty of time for your journey and more importantly, allow extra time to defrost your car.
Pack an emergency kit to keep in the car consisting of basic, common sense items like an ice scraper, de-icer, torch, shovel, blankets, towing rope etc. Food and water is obviously very important too. You could always take a flask of hot coffee that will keep hot for a good few hours too…
Make sure at least one other person knows your intended destination, which route you are taking and how long it should take you. Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone too. If you are travelling to the countryside and the weather appears to be treacherous, it might be a safer bet to hire a car or a 4×4 to guarantee safe passage to your destination.
You’re all packed up and ready to go! Drive slowly and allow time to get there or expect to be late (there’s a snowstorm, a more than valid excuse for the latter). Don’t go faster than you need to, it won’t end well. The chances are you’ll be driving on ice so just keep your wits about you at all times. Remember it’s the other drivers you need to be wary of so make sure you are fully observant at all times. If another car insists on overtaking you then pull over and let them pass, better that than they slam into the back of your car.
If you’re unlucky enough to get stranded in your car then make sure you’re aware of your surroundings so if you need to call for help you can direct them to where you are.
The most important advice of all though is to simply say that if you have any doubt at all, don’t go out!
Disclaimer: This content is exclusively the personal opinion of the author and should not be assumed to have any explicit or implicit intent on the part of the author.
Bill Weston writes on a number of subjects including car hire and car rental.