There are three elements to safe winter driving: caring for your car, preparing for each journey and taking good care of your passengers. These are all essential to make sure you are as comfortable and safe as possible during the cold months.
How to prepare your vehicle
- Always travel with plenty of fuel in case you are stuck in traffic for longer than you anticipated. Accidents are more common in winter and if you are sitting in your car for hours at a time you need to be able to keep warm.
- Get all the electrics in your car checked and be vigilant for broken bulbs that reduce your visibility and make you less visible to other drivers.
- Check oil, water and screen-wash levels regularly.
- To give you the best traction on wet, snowy or icy roads your tyres should have at least 3mm of tread, so get them checked and make sure they are in good health.
- Wash your car regularly to make sure salt and grit from snowy roads does not settle and corrode the paintwork.
How to prepare for each journey
- If a journey is not essential and the weather is extremely poor, it is often best not to attempt it.
- Check local radio for news of disruption and incidents.
- Even if your car has satellite navigation, always keep a map handy in case of unexpected diversions.
- Always have a mobile phone with you and keep it fully charged.
- Be wary of black ice, which is more common in areas that are shaded. For example, tree-lined roads thaw more slowly than open roads, as they get less sunlight.
How to care for your passengers
- If the vehicle gets stuck and you need to abandon it, you will need warm clothes. Keep plenty of coats in the boot in case of emergency.
If you have any questions about how best to drive safely in winter or would like to book your car in for a Winter Health Check, please call or visit RMB in Darlington, Northallerton or Stockton.