How’s My Driving? - Safe Driving Blog Tips
The Ultimate Winter Car Kit
With the winter months here and if you do decide to travel by car it's important to carry a kit to help you when the temperatures drop and you may find yourself stuck in snowy, icy or cold conditions.
The easiest ways to de-ice your car if you’re out and about is either the traditional ice scraper (remember a glove to keep your hands warm!), or a can of de-icer spray.
The side of the road can be a dangerous place, particularly on a dark night, which is why we suggest you keeping a reflective coat/jacket in your car in case you break down on the roadside.
Wrap up warm
Try and remember to keep a warm, waterproof coat (and a blanket if you have the space!) in your car just in case you breakdown and have to stand on the side of the road for a long time in any weather condition.
Back up pack
Try and always travel with a fully charged phone, but we still recommend you pack a spare phone charger and portable battery pack just in case of emergencies.
Pack a picnic
Sneak in a few breakfast or protein bars with a long expiration date, as well as a bottle of water in case you need to water for any aid.
Jump for joy
Car batteries are more likely to die in winter, so try and replace it regularly (every 3-5 years on average, depending on milage, speed, stop-start etc.), or if your car is struggling to start. If you are out and about and your battery dies, jump leads will mean another driver can get your car going again.
Keep it light
Remember to pack a battery or wind up operated flashlight/headlamp and at least one hazard triangle and/or LED flashers to warn approaching drivers and mark your location on the road.
A first aid kit is always a good idea and although you won’t need elaborate kit, items like plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream, antacids, and pain relievers may stem many minor issues. If someone in your family has allergies, consider adding the appropriate medications they may need as well.
If you do get caught in bad weather, try to follow some of these top tips to reduce your risk of any danger:
- Slow right down: if visibility is poor or the road is wet or icy, it will take you longer to react to hazards, so it’s recommend you reduce your speed to something you feel is more suitable for the situation. Try and remember to take corners slowly, and reduce speed further if your view of the road ahead is obscured due to fog or heavy rain or snow.
- Maintain a safe gap: this braking space is crucial, especially in wet and icy conditions. In fact stopping distances are double in the wet, and can be 10 times greater in icy weather, so remember to pull right back and give other road users plenty of space.
- Be extra vigilant: as the dark mornings and evening draw in, please take time to really look for people or hazards on the roads, people on foot, bicycles, motorbikes and horses are harder to spot in poor weather. Try and drive slightly slowly to give you enough time to spot road users and adjust your driving style accordingly.
- Stay in control: avoid harsh braking and acceleration - carrying out all manoeuvres slowly and with extra care.
- Use lights: don’t forget keep your lights (and fog lights!) on in dark or gloomy weather and when visibility is reduced.
Driving can also be a real challenge for your staff during the winter, especially if they’re carrying heavy loads and are driving forlong distances. Here at How’s My Driving? we’ve asked some of our current members to share some key advice to help keep your fleet safe over the cold and wet months.
11 October 2022