Keep Safe On The Roads This Winter

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Many of us don’t give much thought to our cars as the seasons change, but winter driving comes with many extra perils. It pays to be prepared.

Getting your car a full service before winter sets in is a great idea. This will ensure your car is safe and ready to drive in winter conditions.

It’s very important to make sure that your brakes are fully functioning. You must check that all your lights are working and give them a clean so they’ll be easier to spot in dark and foggy conditions. Tyre condition is also vital. Check your tread depth and your tyre pressure. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre too if you have one. If you get a puncture and need to use it, you need it to be safe. Make sure your battery is fully charged and check your fluid levels. Avoiding a break down while out in winter can save you a lot of trouble!

However, no matter how prepared your car is, things can and do go wrong. So be prepared. Get together a winter driving kit to keep in your vehicle just in case you need it. Hopefully you won’t use it, but if you do get into trouble on the roads, you’ll be very glad you took this precaution!

Make sure you always have your mobile phone with you and check that you have plenty of charge in it before you set off. It’s all well and good being with a breakdown service, but it’s no good if you’re not able to call them if you break down!

Make sure you have a hazard warning triangle in the car. Keep a shovel and a tow rope to hand. A pair of wellington boots could also be useful if you need to get your car out of a snow drift. De-icer is a must and a torch could be very important, both for seeing what you’re doing and for alerting other drivers to your presence if your car lights are not working. You should also have a first aid kit in your car.

Other things that can make a breakdown less stressful are blankets and some spare warm clothes. A warm jumper for everyone in the car can really help if you’re stuck for a while awaiting rescue. Some emergency food and drink is also a good idea, especially if you have children with you.

You also need to adapt your driving style in bad conditions. Keep an eye on your speed and don’t ever drive when you are feeling tired. Around Christmas it can tempting to have a drink or two and drive home. So many tragedies happen this way, it simply isn’t worth it. Elect a designated driver or just get a taxi. Before a journey check on line and listen to local radio. Roads may be closed or impassable. If the emergency services are stating that you should avoid all but essential journeys then take their advise. Unless you have no other choice, change or delay your plans.

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