how to prepare for driving in winter

How To Prepare for Driving in Winter

Kel Latest, Life Hacks Leave a Comment

 

Blimey, it’s been chilly here this week! The windscreen of my lovely new car was frozen – on the inside as well as a thick layer outside! At least the snow has stayed away here since before Christmas, as I’m not a fan of driving in the snow. It seems to be common amongst a lot of my mum friends; we just don’t get it often enough to build up our practice time! But, if you do have to drive in cold, icy weather, especially long distances, here are a few ideas on how to prepare for driving in winter conditions.

 

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Pre-travel prep

 

Be honest, how often do you check your tyres, oil, water, and fluids? Me? Not as often as I should. But, if we just give our cars a once-over before going on a long journey, or travelling in very cold weather, we can potentially avoid breaking down and getting stuck.

 

As well as tyres and fluid levels, check your windscreen wiper blades are in good shape and your head and fog lights are working properly and are on the correct settings. If you have to de-snow the car, make sure you clear it off entirely, and don’t forget the headlamps and brake lights!

 

 

Your emergency kit

 

 

If you’re planning on driving in cold weather, you need to be prepared. What if you break down, have a puncture, or become stuck in traffic for long periods? Here are some essential items to consider keeping in your car…

 

Emergency Kit: This ready-made kit (available at Amazon – affiliate link) contains everything you’ll need in an immediate emergency, including a warning triangle, hi-vis vest, foil blanket, torch, first-aid kit, bulb kit and more.

 

 

Wellies and shovel: If you get stuck in snow (or mud!), you might be able to dig yourself out and get back on the move. Pop a pair of boots and a small shovel in the boot just in case.

 

De-icer and scraper: You should have this in your car anyway in the colder months, but double check your can isn’t empty!

 

Blanket and extra layers of clothing: Particularly if travelling with the kids, you might want to pop in a nice, warm blanket (you can even get a heated version!) and some extra clothes, in case you’re sitting stationary for long periods, or if you have to stay outside of your vehicle for any reason.

 

Food and drink: You may not be able to access shops or services for a while if you break down or are stuck in a jam, so pack some non-perishable snacks and drinks. You might want to make a flask of hot chocolate before you travel too, to help keep you warm!

 

Mobile phone and power pack: it’s rare we go anywhere without our mobiles these days, but make sure it’s fully charged and you also take a portable battery power pack to give it a boost if you’re out for hours (also useful for the kids’ devices to keep them occupied!). Check you have emergency numbers in your contacts, particularly your rescue service details.

 

 

Other ways to be prepared

 

If you’re really not confident about driving in cold weather, you could do a winter driving course, where you practice handling a vehicle on a skid pan to mimic icy conditions.

 

Make sure you have emergency cover with a company such as The AA, The RAC, Green Flag and so on. There are different levels of cover, but if you can afford it, choose one which will recover your vehicle to your home address. Be aware that they will be busy in poor weather conditions, so you may have to wait a while for assistance, but do make sure if you have children in the car that you tell them and they’ll try to prioritize you!

 

 

I hope these tips on how to prepare for driving in winter help you feel more confident about driving in colder weather. The main thing to remember is to take care: drive slowly, don’t take risks and tell someone when you’re setting out. And, if you’re really not sure, don’t do it!

 

Do you feel confident driving in cold weather? Are there any tips you can add?

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