• Washing Hands
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid Training
  • Health and Safety Training Consultants

Be Prepared This Winter

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by Gemma

 

You’d think we didn't have a settled routine of seasons here in Blighty, with our relatively fixed patterns of weather at any given time of year. How else do you explain the fact that, every winter when the snow and ice arrives, thousands of motorists are left high and dry because their cars aren't prepared for the cold weather?

It was a gloriously warm start to October for many of us, but that may soon fade into a fond memory as the cold weather begins to bite. Given how volatile the UK weather has become in recent years, who’s to say we won’t be trudging through snow in a week’s time, with our cars stranded in the drive or by the side of the road?

But a little preparation can ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter. And if the worst does happen and you run into trouble, you’ll still be able to keep safe and warm.

Here’s what motorists need to do to winter-proof their cars…

 

Check your tyres

 

If you live in an area prone to lots of snow, then it makes sense to invest in winter tyres for your car so you can get around when weather conditions are poor. In fact, this is something any of us might consider, given how unpredictable the weather seems to be across the UK these days.

If you are fitting winter tyres, always let your insurer know, as some will consider these a modification and it may have an impact on your premiums. A phone call is all it will take.

Even if you live in a built-up area, it’s still a good idea to give your tyres a thorough once-over before winter to ensure the tread isn’t worn and that they are properly inflated. The tread should be at least 1.6mm all round to satisfy legal requirements. Check the oil level, anti-freeze and hazard lights too.

Get your drive ready

A surprising number of winter accidents happen before you’ve even left home, so if cold weather is on the cards, get out there and grit your driveway. Cat litter can work well if you haven’t got anything else to hand, and have a shovel at the ready in case of heavy snow.

De-ice your car

It’s always sensible to have a can of de-icer and a windscreen scraper in your car so that you can clear your windscreen and windows from ice. Don’t, however, be tempted to leave the engine running in order to de-frost everything while you go back into the house and wait. If a thief sees the car unattended and scarpers with it, your insurer isn’t likely to be very sympathetic.

 

Carry an emergency pack

 

If you’re embarking on a long journey in wintry conditions, make sure you take a thermos of hot drink, blankets, torch, jump leads, first aid kit and food, as well as a fully charged mobile phone. Have some high visibility clothing too, so you can be spotted if you have to wait outside your car, as well as a warning triangle so that other motorists can see you have got into difficulty and can get round you safely.