Winter Vehicle Safety Tips
Whether it’s a 15-minute commute or a cross country road trip, yours and your vehicle’s safety should be paramount ahead of every journey you make.
Wet and wintry conditions make driving difficult and potentially hazardous. A few minutes spent on vehicle preparation and maintenance prior to your next trip could see you through the worst the weather has to offer.
We’ve pulled together a number of essential safety precautions that will help to keep you safe while travelling this winter.Pack before you travel
We recommend that you always carry a kit of essential items in your car - especially during the colder and darker months. This will ensure that if a breakdown were to occur, you’re fully prepared for every eventuality. The kit should include your Roadflash vehicle safety wrap as well as a number of other valuable items such as:
- Dry, warm clothes and a blanket: These will become invaluable if you have to pull over, leave your vehicle or wait for a long period of time in cold and changing conditions. Keeping warm and protected from the elements is really important, especially if you’re forced to spend a long period of time in or close to your vehicle with no source of heating.
- A torch with spare batteries: If you need to see or be seen, or you need to look under the bonnet of your car at night, you’ll need a light to guide you and make sure that others are aware of your presence.
- A scraper and de-icer: Every driver knows the feeling of arriving at their car on a cold, icy morning, and finding a windscreen that’s iced over. Having these two essential items stowed in your vehicle will make sure that no matter how cold it gets and wherever you are, you can see clearly at all times.
- Food and drink: Snacks are often an enjoyable part of long journeys, but they can become vital if you’re stranded for long periods of time. It’s good to pack non-perishable foods in your car such as biscuits, crisps, nuts and breakfast bars, as well as bottles of water for hydration.
Prepare your car
Having ensured you have everything you need, it's now time to focus your attention on your vehicle.
- Fuel is an essential part of any journey - you won’t get very far without it! Make sure your car has a full tank before you set off so that if you’re forced to take a diversion or you’re stuck in traffic, you have enough to get you to your end destination.
- Check your tyre tread depth: The minimum recommended tyre tread depth, as recommended by Highways England, is 3mm during the winter months. This differs slightly to the standard minimum legal requirement of 1.6mm. Having the correct depth will give you considerably better grip - important when conditions become icy and hazardous.
- Tyre pressure: Sticking with your wheels, make sure the pressure in your tyres is between the recommended levels of 30 to 35 PSI. Anything less than this can result in you using more fuel and affect how your vehicle handles.
When you’re on the road
- Where possible, stick to major routes and roads as they are more likely to be in better condition, with less potholes, sufficient space for road users and adequate lighting. These roads are also more likely to be gritted and maintained throughout the winter months - creating safer driving conditions when there’s a risk of ice.
- Space is paramount. Maintain enough space kept between you and the vehicle in front of you, especially when the surface becomes increasingly slippery when wet and icy. These conditions can affect braking and increase your stopping distance.
- Allow extra time to get to your destination safely. There is nothing worse than being in a rush, especially when driving conditions begin to deteriorate. Allow yourself enough time to get to your destination, with contingency time for stopping or potential traffic or congestion.
- Use a higher gear in icy conditions. Driving in a high gear, where possible, if you are in icy conditions, prevents potential wheel spin when setting off. It’s also advisable to control the speed of your vehicle using your gears rather than your brakes if you have a manual car because this will limit the chance of skidding or losing control of the vehicle.
We hope that the above checklist is a helpful guide and keeps you safe this winter and beyond. To find out how the Roadflash product range can become an important part of your essentials kit visit XX or contact XX.