British drivers have been urged to get their vehicles ready for winter or face uncomfortable – and even dangerous – journeys in the cold.
LeaseVan.co.uk has released seven guidelines on how UK car and van drivers can winterproof their vehicles both inside and out.
Driving on British roads from November onwards can be rough, but the company says doing a little extra preparation and having useful items to hand will make travelling during the winter more pleasant. It also says a reassured, comfortable and focussed motorist will drive better and safer, as a prepared driver owner won’t need to panic in the event of bad weather.
Tim Alcock from www.leasevan.co.uk said: “In the run up to Christmas, it’s easy to get distracted and forget to prepare your vehicle for winter driving – but doing so means you’ll face uncomfortable, miserable and potentially dangerous journeys. We’ve put together some advice that any driver can use to avoid discomfort and distraction when driving in bad weather.”
The advice on how to winterproof your vehicle includes:
- Good wheels – Ensure there is sufficient grip on every tyre to see the vehicle through winter journeys on slippery roads, and have accessible wheel chains if travelling through the snow is necessary
- Tools – Drivers are recommended to keep a snow shovel in their vehicle in case it gets stuck. A pair of sturdy walking boots is also a good idea, if shelter must be sought on foot
- Maintenance – Extra care should be taken over the condition of vehicles during the winter months, so motorists should regularly check safety essentials like brakes and windscreen wipers
- Clear vision – Leaving a vehicle parked anywhere during the winter months is an open invitation for a frozen windscreen, so make sure you have a can of de-icer to hand as well as a suitable scraper. It’s also a good idea to pack a cloth or old rag to wipe the glass from the inside, as having the heater on full blast will lead to condensation when the warmth meets the cold air from outside
- Keep fuelled – It’s even more vital to keep on top of filling up with petrol or diesel in the winter, to avoid being left stranded in the cold – aim to always have a quarter of the tank full. Keeping yourself fuelled is equally as important and precautions should be taken in case of delays or breakdown. Keep a bottle of water in the car or van, hide an energy-filled snack such as a chocolate bar in the glovebox for emergencies, and take a flask with you on long journeys.
- Warm clothes – Prepare for the worst weather by making sure there are gloves, a scarf, a hat and a thick pair of socks tucked away in your vehicle. Should the heating or vehicle itself break down, it is also advisable to have a spare jumper, thermal blanket or chemical heat packs in the boot.
- Accessories – The best prepared British motorists will have their vehicle well stocked with useful items to see them through the winter. A full portable phone charger is a glovebox essential in case of breakdown, an old-fashioned paper map is always an advisable back up to a sat-nav, and a packet of tissues is a must to avoid distraction on the roads.