Are You Prepared For Winter Driving?
The V Family have made many long and short journeys during the winter months and know how important it is to be prepared for all possibilities.
With the cold weather firmly upon us I've teamed up with Hudgell Solicitors to give advice on how to prepare yourself for winter driving.
Driving in bad conditions can be scary but, in my experience, as long as you drive slowly and really concentrate (sometimes difficult with a screaming toddler in the back seat) then driving in winter can be a safe activity.
Most importantly - BE PREPARED!
A package like this should be a vital part of your preparations for winter driving. It contains the basic items you might need if you run into problems on the road in bad weather. We also take warm coats, food, drink and blankets whenever we have long journeys to make in winter.
A high visibility waistcoat or jacket is extremely important if you experience problems with your vehicle at night. Other vehicles will not be able to see you in your normal clothing but if you wear one of these you will really stand out.
Even in the daytime, winter visibility can be poor so it's a good idea to use one of these at any time of day or night if you have to leave your vehicle whilst on or near the road.
We all know that the windscreen is a very important part of the car so you need to make sure it's clear. De-icer is quick and easy way to clear ice from the screen (perfect when you're in a rush to get the kids to school)!
It's usually a good idea to get out of your vehicle when you break down but in winter this means you are likely to get very cold. If this happens you will need the warm coats and blankets you packed before leaving and some hand warmers to keep your fingers toasty until help arrives.
Personally I avoid alcohol altogether if I'm driving and hubby will only have one but if you've had more and want to make sure you're still under the limit these breathalysers are a very useful item to have in the car.
Even if you're not the designated driver I think it's a good idea to have one of these to hand so you can make sure the driver is safely under the limit. Your life is in their hands after all so it's better to be safe than sorry!
Just like the windscreen, the lights are a massively important part of your vehicle. You should always check your lights before setting off.
If a bulb blows while you're driving, an emergency bulb kit (and knowing how to change them) will make your journey much safer.
A torch that works can make a big difference if you break down in winter, especially in the dark. It means you'll be able to see the part of the vehicle that needs attending to and even your surroundings if you have to tell someone where they can find you.
Breaking down in the dark or in poor visibility can be scary but being able to see where you are can make you feel more secure.
I'm going back to visibility because it really is one of the most important factors in winter driving - if you can't see properly then don't drive at all and if something blocks your view whilst driving, slow down and try to find a safe place to pull over.
If you don't happen to have any de-icer (or have annoyingly ran out as in my case) then a scraper is a must. We keep one in the car at all times. This one also works as a demister so if your windows are a bit steamy you can clear them in no time.
An emergency blanket has so many uses, it will obviously keep you warm if you happened to forget the warm coats and blankets when you were packing up the car. It will also provide shade and protection from the wind or snow.
Perhaps the most important use for the emergency blanket is for first aid purposes because it's clever design means it can actually prevent/counter hypothermia.
You should also make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you leave home. You never know when you might need to make an emergency phone call!
I already mentioned checking the lights on your vehicle but there are a few other checks you should perform before you set off on your journey:
It might seem like a lot to think about and you might feel like you don't have the time to do these things but in my opinion a bit of extra planning before you drive is the best way to stay safe on the road in winter.
Hudgell Solicitors are keen to raise awareness about road safety, for more information on becoming a safer driver and some winter driving statistics check out their page here.
Do you have any winter driving tips you'd like to share? Feel free to comment below - I'd love to hear them.
I received the above products in exchange for sharing my thoughts on winter driving.