Preparing for Winter Driving
Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness make driving much more hazardous. Conditions in the UK can sometime be extreme, as we have found out over the last couple of winters, with prolonged periods of heavy snow and floods. There is a lot that can be done before you find yourself faced with having to drive in extreme conditions.
Many people have no choice but to drive in winter conditions as their livelihood depends on being able to get to clients or work premises, but for many others there is the option to avoid driving when conditions are bad as they can work from home. The technology now exists to have a virtual office so bad weather should not interfere with many office tasks, a little planning now can mean fall-back procedures and systems are already in place before the bad weather hits.
SAFETY KIT: One of the most important things you can do is prepare a winter driving kit to carry in your vehicle just in case you are caught out during extreme conditions. Hypothermia and dehydration are two very real possibilities and you should consider carrying some or all of the items listed opposite to help you cope in extreme conditions.
PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE: Being stuck in a vehicle overnight is a very real possibility for those having to drive in winter conditions. Recent news items have shown people losing their lives in floods; more drivers are likely to suffer when conditions become colder. Following a few basic procedures can make the different between an uncomfortable situation and a life threatening one!
- Clean the inside of windows as often as you clean the outside.
- Make sure your washer bottle is filled with the correct screen wash antifreeze.
- Make sure all your lights including fog lights are working and clean.
- Keep your vehicle battery fully charged.
- Check you tyre pressure and depth regularly.
- Be prepared yourself – good planning and anticipation can help you avoid getting stuck.
Different weather conditions create different hazards throughout the winter and in different areas of the country at different times. A single journey may take us into very different weather, road and traffic conditions. Good drivers are prepared for each one.