Check Your Vehicle It is vital that you check your vehicle, when you are planning to drive in winter weather conditions. Ensure that your vehicle is well maintained and its servicing is up to date.

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  • If you have been having battery problems get the battery checked it’s free at D&G.
  • Clear the snow off your car and keep lights, windows & mirrors clean and free from ice and snow otherwise you could incur a £60 fine & 3 points.
  • Make sure your coolant system is protected by anti-freeze and topped is up to correct levels.
  • Make sure concentrated winter additive is added to the windscreen washer to prevent freezing.
  • Make sure tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure as this will help the life of the tyre and save you on fuel.
  • Check that your wipers and lights are in good working order and check them daily.
  • [/list_arrow2] Plan Your Journey When driving during wintry weather conditions, take care to plan your journey to avoid any unnecessary risks to your safety.

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  • Check the local and national weather forecasts before departure.
  • Listen to travel information throughout your journey as weather can change quickly.
  • Tell someone at home, work and your destination what time you expect to arrive.
  • Carry a screen scraper, de-icer and a set of warm dry clothing and foot ware.
  • A blanket and some sustenance such as high energy bars and something to drink would be wise (fizzy water and mars bars are my favourite).
  • Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged in case of emergencies.
  • Only use you’re mobile if it is safe and legal to do so.
  • In adverse weather avoid taking your usual short cuts and back roads as these may not have been treated or cleared.
  • Make sure you always have enough fuel for your journey, best to keep it topped up at all times.
  • [/list_arrow2] How You Drive When the roads are icy or slushy, watch your speed, slow down even if you are in a rush, it’s not worth it and your safety is paramount as is the safety of all the other drivers’ on the road.

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  • Avoid locking your wheels whilst braking on ice or snow, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently.
  • It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly, allowing extra braking distance to slow down and stop.
  • Be aware of any additional noise confirming that traction and/ or stability systems are operating on the car.
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, taking care to manoeuvre gently.
  • Don’t rev the engine and spin the wheels when stuck you’ll only waste fuel and make it worse.
  • Stick a snow shovel in the boot, you could also carry a bag of cat litter to be used as grit (unlike salt, if it’s left there it won’t rot your boot).
  • [/list_arrow2] If You Need Assistance Or Abandon your Vehicle. The cold weather can cloud your judgment and compromise your safety therefore if you need assistance or your vehicle has broken down or you are simply lost, remember the following:

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  • If you have broken down on a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, the breakdown/emergency services will then be able to locate you easily.
  • If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder.
  • Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs. To ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives or try to leave it somewhere that won’t obstruct the road.
  • If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you by using a torch (point this downwards to save blinding on coming vehicles) and if you have one  wear a safety vest or something bright that can be seen.
  • Take extra care when walking home. Let someone know you are doing so and the route you are taking.
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