Winter Driving Tips Advice for driving in the snow.
Winter weather grows ever more unpredictable from balmy warm days to heavy snow falls. Are you prepared for driving in the winter weather? So many UK motorists have been caught out when the snow came, so make sure you’re prepared. Here is our safety advice checklist for driving this winter.
- Fuel – try and keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of any unexpected delays
- Antifreeze – is your coolant level correct? Check this frequently and top up with a coolant/antifreeze mixture
- Screen wash – make sure the bottle is topped up, as you’ll use lots during winter driving
- Windscreen wipers – check they can actually clean your windscreen for you and are not just rubbing dirt around!
- Lights – check lights work and are clean, keep extra wipes in the car just in case and carry spare bulbs
- Battery – is it older than 5years? If so, older batteries often struggle in the cold weather. Get it checked at a local garage or even changed
- Extra water – in case you use up your windscreen wash
- Tyres – check the pressure and treads are legal and suitable for winter driving*
- Phone – have a fully charged mobile phone and charger with you
You’re more likely to breakdown in the bad weather; you can add breakdown vehicle cover to your Octagon Insurance motor policy from as little as £34**.
Caught out in the cold?
To stop your car doors from freezing shut during the cold weather, apply a thin coat of polish or petroleum jelly over the rubber door seals. To stop the locks from freezing add a drop of WD-40 to the locks
Car boot winter essentials
- Shovel (to dig yourself out of the snow)
- Blanket and / or sleeping bag
- Ice Scraper/de-icer
- Extra water
- Tow rope
- Battery jump leads
- Old carpet or similar to place under wheels in the snow/ice to gain traction
- Torch & batteries
- Warm & waterproof clothing
- Decent sturdy footwear suitable for the snow and cold
Highways agency winter campaign
The Highways Agency (HA) is making motorists aware with ‘Make Time for Winter’.
The HA has over 500 winter service vehicles on standby and the Met Office at the HA national traffic operations centre all providing vital information.
So before any journey…
- Be informed – check traffic and weather updates for snow falls (both at times when you plan on travelling and throughout the day)
- Be prepared – check your vehicle is ready for winter and always carry your emergency kit
- Be aware – in severe weather the HA winter teams need the time and space to do their job
- Be wise – conditions may change, drive with care
Car boot essentials all year round
- Fuel Can
- Road Atlas, as you never know when sat nav may fail you!
- Spare bulbs
- Warning triangle
- Fluorescent / reflective jacket
* Octagon Insurance does not charge you any additional premium if you do change your tyres to winter tyres, however we do ask you to notify us if you do change them and have them fitted by a qualified professional.
** cost dependent on cover type and age of vehicle