It’s that time of year when motoring becomes even more hazardous than usual. Heavy snowfalls make driving dangerous. The best advice is always to avoid driving wherever possible in bad conditions. However, some trips are inevitable, so what can you do to reduce the risks?
It pays to put a bit of preparation in before you go to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. Here are some pointers to help you out:
Hopefully you already have your car regularly serviced to keep it in good working order, but even then there’s no guarantee you won’t ever break down. To reduce the risk, there are several things you can do before you set off. For example, obviously fill up on fuel but also check your car is adequately topped up with oil, water, antifreeze and screenwash. Check your tyre pressure and ensure the treads are all good, with no damage. Should your tyres need replacing go to a reputable supplier. There’s a lot of useful information about tyres at TyrePlus (and for more maintenance know-how before your journey, you could check out these helpful top 10 tips).
Be Prepared for Bad Weather and Delays
If you’re going on a long journey, be prepared for any problems along the way. Often bad weather and delays can hinder your journey, so pack things that will help such as blankets or a sleeping bag for cold weather should you get stuck in your car, plus sufficient food, snacks, water and an energy drink. Hand heaters, a torch, snow shovel, scrapers and de-icer are all important too. Take a rubbish bag and kitchen roll or wipes and a first aid box is essential too.
Have you got breakdown cover should you need it? Plan your route, programme it into the sat-nav if you are using one and you’ll get an estimate of how long the journey should take, providing there are no delays. It will help you ensure you work in some rest stops along the way.
What to do if you get stranded?
Its pretty unthinkable to get stranded in a blizzard, but it can happen. If so, don’t panic. Try to keep your engine running for ten minutes or so every hour to stop it from freezing. (Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow before you start the engine.) When the engine is running, this is the time you can use your car heater – set it to blow out on your feet and let the heat rise. Layer up with your supplies of blankets and use those snacks and drinks when you need them. Don’t leave the car as it will provide you with valuable shelter from the elements. With your smartphone you can work out your location and call a friend or relative to let them know where you are if you are stuck.