With winter comes difficult driving conditions – fog can impair road visibility, the wind can affect your steering and handling, ice can make it difficult to navigate your way through town, and snow can cause chaos on motorways. Can we all remember last week?! While driving conditions are likely to change during the winter months, you can still get from A to B safely, and on time. Just follow these top tips for winter driving.
Plan Your Journey
Whether you’re off to work or you’re taking the kids on a day out, planning your journey in advance makes sense. Make sure that you pre-programme the day’s journey into your SATNAV or download a journey planning app to your smartphone. Some apps also come with live traffic updates and alternate route suggestions, so it makes sense to look around and experiment.
Clear Your Car
As the RAC notes, it is illegal to drive with snow on your windscreen. Therefore, it’s important that you get up early to prepare your vehicle for your journey (yes, that’s been me out there at 8am before the school run)! Make sure you stock up on de-icer and a high-quality scraper to make it easier to prepare your car for its journey.
Check Your Wipers
Your wipers are essential for safe driving – even more so during the winter months. Before starting your vehicle, check that your auto wiper function has been switched off – otherwise, you could blow your winter control fuse if the wipers are frozen to your windscreen. Check that your wipers are in good working order. Angie’s List recommends replacing your wiper blades every six months – once in the spring, and once during winter.
Top Up Your Screen Wash
Keep your screen wash topped up at all times, and switch to a quality solution that can protect in minus temperatures during the colder season. If you don’t, your wipers could be rendered useless when driving in treacherous conditions.
Look at Your Tyres
Tyres without an adequate tread will not grip to the roads when driving in snow and ice. If you live in an area where snow and ice are likely, or you travel regularly, consider switching your tyres to a winter alternative with a deeper tread.
While most cars will be able to get you from A to B, vans and 4×4 vehicles can be safer and more secure during the winter months. If you don’t want to invest in a new car, consider a VW Transporter lease to give you the comfort and peace of mind needed to make journeys.
Pack Emergency Supplies
Stocking up on emergency supplies may sound extreme, but preparing for every eventuality is a sensible idea. A torch can be used to help you navigate roads and pathways in the event of a breakdown, while a hi-visibility jacket and warning triangle will keep you safe. Food, water and extra clothing should also be considered for long journeys. Keeping your breakdown provider’s emergency phone number in your smartphone is also a sensible idea – you never know when you might need it. You also need to think about keeping your car’s MOT up to date, especially on the winter months.
There you have it – some of our top tips for driving during the winter months. Follow weather reports and traffic bulletins, wear comfortable footwear and accelerate gently to ensure your safety.
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