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Tuesday, 01/11/2016

Staying Safe on the Road this Winter

It’s a well-known fact that you're more likely to break down in bad weather.

There's more risk of delays too be it a breakdown or a jack-knifed lorry. And if you are travelling on a main route you could end up being delayed for several hours whilst the emergency services sort everything out.

So our friends at the AA have come up with some brilliant lists of what we should all be doing as the weather closes in for winter.

Antifreeze

check coolant level regularly and, if required, top-up with a mixture of the correct type of antifreeze. Your garage should check concentration to ensure adequate cold temperature protection.

Battery

the most common cause of winter breakdowns. A battery more than five years old may struggle in the cold - get it checked and replaced if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned failure.

Fuel

keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.

Lights

check and clean all lights regularly to make sure you can see and be seen clearly. Carry spare bulbs.

Tyres

should have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. Consider winter tyres for improved safety. Check pressures at least every fortnight.

Windscreen

reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the screen clean inside and out. Now is a good time to renew worn wiper blades.

Screen wash

use a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather.

Locks and door seals

stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals. A squirt of water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help stop them freezing.


But it’s not just the car that needs attention, you and your passengers also need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As well as the things you should be carrying on every journey regardless of the weather, you should make up a winter emergency kit to keep in the boot – hopefully you won’t need it but you will be very glad it's there if you do.


Year-round essentials


Fully-charged mobile phone and in-car charger

Sunglasses – to deal with glare from the sun or snow

Personal medication

First aid kit

Road atlas – in case of diversions

Sat-nav, road atlas or printed route for unfamiliar journeys

Breakdown cover membership card


Winter emergency kit

Make up an emergency kit containing the following at the start of winter and keep it in the car


Blanket, rug or sleeping bag

Shovel

Ice scraper and de-icer

Torch and batteries

Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars

Extra screen wash


And when really bad weather is forecast..


Warm winter coat, scarf, hat, gloves and warm clothes

Waterproofs

Sturdy footwear

Flask of hot drink