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7 ‘P’s’ to remember when driving in winterBack

The weather is set to turn in the next few days, and when cold icy conditions prevail, the roads can become a hazardous place for motorists.

This week, Trusted Dealers is urging motorists to take extra care on the roads as the wintry weather approaches. Below are seven important points for keeping drivers safe this winter.

Prioritise

If it snows, always prioritise your journeys in the car. Work out which journeys you could actually make on foot, or consider actually leaving the trip altogether unless it’s absolutely necessary. Be mindful at all times of the hazards you could come across when out on the roads, and if it doesn’t feel safe to venture out, don’t do it.

Prepare

If you do have to make a journey out in the wintery weather, make sure your car is properly equipped with the right winter essentials to see you through any breakdown. If you do break down, the chances are you’ll have to wait a longer amount of time for help to arrive, so be prepared. Below is a list of essential items which you should consider packing in your car in winter:

  • An ice scraper
  • A can of de-icer
  • A torch
  • A tow rope
  • A warm fleece
  • A couple of blankets
  • Wellington boots
  • A first aid kit
  • Jump leads
  • A 2 litre bottle of water
  • A few tins of food and a can opener
  • A snow shovel
  • A road atlas
  • A spare mobile phone charger
  • A fully charged mobile phone

Plan

If your journey is essential, plan it carefully to avoid meeting with any hazardous conditions. Perhaps you can journey along an alternative route to help avoid hazards such as sharp turnings or steep hills. You should also check the internet regularly for weather updates.

Proof

Proof your car so it’s ready for the winter months. There are several checks you can perform to make sure it’s in full working order. For example, check the lights are clean and working, your car battery is fully charged, your windscreen wiper blades and windows are clean and your oil is at the right level. In addition, check your washer bottle is filled up with anti-freeze screen wash.

Power

Remember to power up the battery in your car regularly. If your car stands still for long periods of time, give the engine a short burst of power every evening to give the battery a chance to revive itself. Remember to turn off any electrical devices first before starting the engine. If the engine struggles to start, use the starter in short five-second bursts and leave 30 seconds between attempts.

Ply

Ply your car with antifreeze, but always make sure you buy the right type for your vehicle. Most modern cars use long-life antifreeze but you can check your car handbook or ask your nearest Trusted Dealer for more advice. Please note that some types of antifreeze may need to be changed after just 2 years. Put a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water into the cooling system for the winter to provide maximum protection down to -34 degrees.

Prevent

Prevent an accident by being mindful of your speed at all times. Refresh yourself on how to drive in wintery conditions. In general, remember to keep your speed down and leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front. Give snow ploughs and gritter trucks plenty of room to avoid any damage to your car, and if you are embarking on a longer journey, make sure you take plenty of breaks.

For more information on how to drive in wintry conditions, take a look at Trusted Dealers full Guide to Winter Driving

Posted by Leana Kell on 08/12/2017