It’s hard to think about the harsh conditions of winter when we’re sizzling in a heatwave, but it will be upon us in no time. It’s always good to keep essential winter travel tips in mind, so that they become second nature when we’re faced with ice and snow. Here are some essential hints on driving in winter conditions:
1.Always carry some extra provisions in the boot of your vehicle in case you break down in very low temperatures. Items like spare gloves, waterproof clothing, spare boots, jump leads, a thick blanket, a torch with spare batteries and some de-icer. Some water and nutrition bars are also useful. Nutrition bars have a long shelf-life, high in calories and could come in very handy when caught out by wintry conditions.
- Have a pre-winter service or check-over so you know that your vehicle is prepared for temperatures to plummet. Tyres are an important part of your vehicle to get checked out by a garage, preferably before the storms of winter begin.
- Remember the important thing is bad weather is ‘see and be seen’. Vehicle lights should be clean and free of obstruction, windows should be kept clean and defrosters in tip top condition. Always clear snow from your bonnet before driving in case it blows onto your windscreen and obstructs your visibility.
- Watch your speed. In bad weather conditions, it is recommended to reduce your speed by up to 50% and leave additional space between yourself and the vehicle in front.
- Be wary of some of the modern technology that vehicles have these days. Cruise control features could make your vehicle accelerate when you least want to, such as on an incline over an icy bridge.
- When parking and leaving your vehicle, try to find a spot in an indoor car park or garage. Thankfully, most town and city centre areas will have been gritted. For Car Park Gritting Gloucester, visit http://www.contract-gritting.co.uk/gritting-services/car-park/
- Fun fact – buy a bag of cat litter to leave in your boot (regardless of whether you have a cat). Not only will it serve as additional weight to improve traction but can also be used to pour under the wheels should you get stuck in a slippery spot.
- If you find yourself stranded and must remain in your vehicle, you can keep the engine running to stay warm so long as your exhaust is not obstructed by snow or ice. If you’d rather not keep the engine running, keep all windows closed and run the engine for 10 minutes every hour, slightly opening a front window when you do.