After our beautiful summer, Winter is now on its way. It’s time to think about driving in bad weather. Here are a few tips to help you if you find yourself driving in the snow.
The Things You Should Have in Your Boot
Whatever type of journey you’re setting out on it’s better to be prepared for all eventualities. You may need to dig yourself out of the snow or spend time in your car if you get stranded.
Your emergency boot kit should include:
- Wellington boots
- A shovel
- A tow rope
- Ice scraper
- A torch and some spare batteries
- A first aid kit
- A blanket
- Thermal gloves
- A flask with a hot non-alcoholic drink and some snacks
- Your mobile phone and a portable charger
Make sure you either wear warm clothes to drive in, or you have warm clothes with you in the car.
When you’re driving on a road that’s icy or covered in snow drive slowly so that your stopping distance is increased. Try not to brake sharply or accelerate suddenly. Take bends and corners slowly, drive in a low gear and reduce your speed gently to lower the risk of skidding.
You may need to stop now and again to clean snow from your headlights. The visibility will be reduced so use dipped headlights.
If You Get Stuck in the Snow
If your car gets stuck in the snow, try not to panic. Wrap up warm, put on your gloves and get out of the car and use your shovel to dig out any snow that’s under the tyres. Then get back n the car and in a low gear accelerate gently. If the car has no grip and you don’t have snow socks or chains, you can try using your car mat. Put it in front of your tyres and try to move your car again. If you can’t move then it’s best to stay in your car, especially in blizzard conditions when it is easy to get lost.
If you need to stay in your car, make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow. That way exhaust fumes won’t build up inside the car when you have the engine running. Get back into your car and put on as many warm clothes as you have with you. Wrap yourself up in a blanket. Run the engine every ten minutes or so with the heater on but keep a window slightly open for ventilation.
Move your arms and legs regularly to keep your circulation going and use your snacks and your hot drink to keep your energy levels up and stop you from de-hydrating.
Phone the breakdown or the emergency services and wait for someone to come and help you.