The winter months are a funny time of year. Usually, our winter consists of a few frosty mornings, cloudy skies and plenty of rain. Occasionally though we do get some longer periods of icy weather and sometimes we are subjected to the dreaded ‘S’ word….. SNOW!
And us Brits love the snow! We even drove 400 miles and went to Scotland for Christmas in the hope that we would find snow for our children!
Preparing For Winter Driving
But what about when the snow and ice persist and the roads become more treacherous? Well, a lot of us are quite ill-prepared to cope with travelling in our cars in these hazardous conditions and with this, in mind, I’d like to give out some great advice to help us all at this time of year.
Winter Essential Car Emergency Kit
Now this one I will fully admit, I’m nowhere near as prepared as I should be for winter driving and I don’t have the essentials that should be in my car. Especially with three children this really should be much higher on my list of things to do. So with this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of what really should be in my car over the winter months.
- Torch (with spare batteries)
- Mobile phone and a way of keeping it charged
- First aid kit
- Gloves and boots
- Energy snacks
- Ice scraper
- Jump leads
- Extra screenwash
This should cover most eventualities that you should come across over the winter months and while I’m sure that there are more things that could be included I think that this covers the essentials and you can add or change this list to suit your own circumstances.
Keeping your car winter ready
Now that you’ve dealt with the people in your car and how to keep them safe should something happen out on those winter roads it’s time to look at how to help prevent anything happening in the first place and this starts with keeping your car in top condition.
Getting your car winter ready doesn’t have to be too hard and to be honest it’s not much more difficult than the regular maintenance we should all do throughout the year. That said, it’s nice to have it laid out in a nice simple and easy to follow list so here you go, one nice easy to follow list…
- Make sure your screenwash is topped up regularly and is of the correct consistency. A mix of 50/50 is ideal for winter driving to stop it freezing up
- Check your tyres. Your tyres are what keep you stuck to the road so they should have enough tread and not be excessively worn.
- Check all your lights! Sounds obvious and though newer cars do have warnings to tell you if a bulb has blown a lot of older cars don’t. A quick check before you set off means you’ll be able to see other drivers and hazards and those other drivers will be able to see you!
- Checking the coolant (antifreeze) levels in your car is essential. This fluid stops your car’s engine freezing up in the cold and that could be very costly to repair were it to happen.
Again, it goes without saying that you should always keep your car in top condition, regular servicing and yearly MOT’s are essential for the safe running of your car. Plus, in this internet savvy world there really isn’t any excuse as you can do all this online, even online MOT booking can be done these days!
This is where a lot of you will shut off and probably not read any further, but stick with me and you might be surprised! I think that if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us don’t fully appreciate how long it takes us to stop our cars. We bask in the glow of our modern technologically advanced motor vehicles with our disc brakes and our ABS systems and even cars that sense impending danger and reacts before you do! That said, even the fastest reactions of the most modern cars can get around the simple laws of physics…
Cars always take a certain amount of time and distance to stop!
There’s no getting away from it, it’s down to the simple laws of physics. You can’t get away from it, there is no getting around it, it’s just FACT!
What’s also a fact is that when the conditions on the road are less than perfect (which let’s face it, is most days!), then those times and distances are magnified by a huge amount and I was amazed to find out just how much they do increase! It’s really hard to explain it, and they do say that a picture paints a thousand words so Kwik-Fit has produced a video that explains it much better than I ever could.
So, that’s about it. These tips should help you keep safe out there in the winter on the roads when the conditions aren’t that great and I really hope that you’ve found it useful.