The Key To A Safe Journey In Bad Weather Conditions Is Preparation
The current weather here in the UK is cold, wet and pretty miserable, making the roads very slippery thanks to falling leaves and so much rain over the past few weeks. The last couple of nights in some areas have experienced temperatures in the minuses, meaning many drivers woke up to a frozen car for the first time this year – making it the right time to prepare our vehicle and ourselves for the coming winter.
A change in the weather can make driving conditions much worse, especially when snow and ice arrives to create super slippery roads that are treacherous to drive on. The start to our mornings also becomes a little more challenging, as we have to spend extra time out in the cold making sure our car is free from ice and snow before setting off on a journey.
The key to a safe journey in bad weather conditions is preparation. This means ensuring our car is winter ready and that we ourselves do everything we can before driving off.
So, to ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter, please read our 10 essential tips for safer winter driving – hopefully, it will help guide you on how best to prepare yourself and your vehicle during this challenging season – bring on the snow and ice, we’re ready to tackle anything!
Our 10 Essential Winter Driving Safety Tips:
1. Prepare Your Car – make sure your car is up-to-date with fluids, brakes and fuel. During the winter months, it’s advisable to keep your fuel tank half full to full at all times, especially if a long trip is planned. Ensure the oil has been changed recently and that all other fluids in your car are topped up.
Ensure all the lights are working. Keep your lights clean and clear, free from any dirt or snow. Clean your windscreen inside and out and replace any worn out wiper blades.
Remove any snow or ice from your car before setting off, remembering to clear the roof.
2. Tyre Check – for the winter, it’s recommended that each tyre has at least 3mm of tread. Make sure the tyres are properly inflated – DO NOT let air out of the tyres thinking this gives you more grip, it doesn’t and can be dangerous.
Consider winter tyres or all-season tyres, as these provide better grip in cold, wet conditions.
If using snow chains, only do so if there’s enough snow on the ground or they could damage the surface of the road.
3. Belt Up! – always wear a seatbelt. The driver and all passengers must belt up before setting off on a journey. In the event of an accident, wearing your seatbelt could save your life.
4. Watch Your Speed! – when there’s snow on the ground, slow down and keep to a speed that reflects the conditions of the road. Be prepared for black ice patches that could be hidden underneath the snow.
5. Accelerate & Decelerate Slowly – you could lose traction and this may cause you to lose control if you don’t accelerate and decelerate slowly when there’s snow on the roads. Stay calm and accelerate carefully or brake slowly to avoid an accident.
6. Stay Alert! – concentrate fully on the roads and with what is going on around you. Don’t get distracted by the radio or extremely chatty passengers!
7. Keep A Safe Distance – it’s advisable to stay at least 6-8 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you when driving in snow or ice.
8. Avoid Using Cruise Control – DO NOT use cruise control whilst driving in wintry weather conditions, as it could lead to an accident.
9. Plan Ahead – before setting off an a journey, check the weather and plan your route, allowing for extra time. Plan routes to favour major roads, as these are the ones more likely to have been cleared and gritted. If the weather is extremely bad, consider cancelling your journey if you can.
10. Emergency Winter Kit – having an emergency kit in your car will help you in the event of an incident occurring whilst out on the roads. Here’s a list of the essential items that should be in your winter kit:
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Screen wash
- Torch and extra batteries
- Spare car bulbs
- A fully charged mobile phone, in-car charger or power pack
- Road atlas and sat nav
- Blankets or Sleeping Bags
- Warm clothes and waterproofs
- Bottles of water and long-life snacks
- Sturdy footwear and ice grips
- Hi-Vis jacket or vest
- Warning triangles
- Jump leads and tow rope
- Empty fuel can
- First aid kit
When you’re fully prepared, driving in the snow or ice doesn’t have to be as frightening a prospect as you might have imagined. By simply ensuring both you and your car are ready for whatever the road conditions may be, you’ll stay safe during the winter months and enjoy your journey’s just as much as you do during the other three seasons.
And of course, if you’ve leased a car from Flexed or you’re considering leasing a new car from us, vehicle maintenance and breakdown cover are both included, so if the worst was to happen during the winter months, help is on hand.
Drop us a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with a member of our team NOW using our online ‘We Are Here!’ service – we’ll gladly answer any leasing questions you may have.