How to Prepare Yourself and Your Car for Driving in Snow & Ice
Currently, the weather across the UK is relatively mild for this time of year but this doesn’t mean that just around the corner isn’t a cold snap waiting to catch us all out, so what better time to prepare for when it does arrive by making sure your car is all ready for whatever wintery weather conditions lie ahead and that we, as drivers, know exactly what we need to do in order to stay safe on the roads this coming winter.
A change in the weather can make driving conditions much worse, especially when snow and ice arrives to create slippery and wet roads. 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.
So, to ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter, we’ve compiled the following Top 10 driving tips that will help guide you on how best to prepare yourself and your lease car this winter season – bring it on snow and ice, we’ll be ready!
Our Top 10 Winter Driving Tips In 2020:
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.
Make sure 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.
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 – your car could lose traction and 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 any accidents from occurring.
6. Stay Alert! – concentrate fully on the roads and with what is going on around you. Don’t get distracted by the radio or with passengers who might talk too much!
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. Planning 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.
10. Emergency Winter Kit – having a winter emergency kit in your lease car will help you in the event of an incident occurring whilst out on the roads. Here’s a list of the things you might want to make sure are in your kit:
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch and spare batteries
- A fully charged mobile phone, in-car charger or power pack
- Road atlas and sat nav
- Spare car bulbs
- Warm clothes and waterproofs
- Water and long-life snacks
- Sturdy footwear and ice grips
- Hi-vis jacket
- Warning triangles
- Jump leads and tow rope
- Empty fuel can
- First aid kit
If fully prepared, driving in the snow or ice doesn’t have to be as frightening a prospect as first thought. By simply making sure both you and your lease car are ready for whatever the road conditions may be, you’ll stay safe during the winter months.
Of course, when you lease a car from Flexed, vehicle maintenance and breakdown cover is included, so if the worst was to happen during the winter months, help is on hand.
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