As a pilot wouldn’t fly without taking out pre-flight checks you should do the same and make sure that for every journey your vehicle is safe and roadworthy for that journey.
Check your tyres as they are obviously key to grip in all weather conditions. Make sure you have the correct legal tread (limit is 1.6mm) and that they are inflated to the correct pressure. Make sure that your battery is well charged. Ensure you have enough antifreeze to stop your engine freezing. Check wipers are working so your visibility is not impaired in any way.
Clear all ice and snow off your lights including tail lights and quite simply don’t forget to turn them on. You could well be driving in blizzard conditions make sure you turn your lights on and that you can be seen. Check all your interior lights are working as you may well need them when searching for provisions or breakdown kit.
It should be obvious in bad conditions that you simply need to slow down. Trying to travel quickly in the wrong conditions at inappropriate speeds is just asking for trouble. It’s not necessary. Just because you may have a 4X4 which may get you out of your drive in the morning it will do little for you when travelling at 60mph and having to slam your breaks on to avoid other vehicles or incidents. So aim to avoid sudden acceleration and braking, as in bad conditions you need to have the best traction you can achieve, and travelling at un-appropriate speeds for the conditions in the first place will leave you in a poor position to try and recover from.
Make sure you have your Ice –Scraper to hand. Take your time and de-ice the vehicle windscreens and lights completely. Get up 10 minutes earlier and take your time to make sure you completely clear windscreens and lights of any ice or snow before progressing. How often do you see people driving having only cleared a 6 inch square area of windscreen. How mad is that!
Follow government and road agency advice. Don’t travel during snow storms if you can absolutely avoid it. It’s better to arrive late than never.
- Mobile Phone fully charged in case of emergency
- First Aid Kit/Medication
- Road Atlas / Sat-Nav
- Bottled Water and Snacks
- Extra screen wash
- Big winter coat hat gloves boots and shovel
- Ice Scraper and De-Icer
- Torch and Batteries
- Blanket Rug or sleeping bag