Your role is to ensure the health and safety of others during the winter, but don't forget about yourself. Driving in wintry conditions carries an element of risk regardless of how short your commute is, so here's a few practical tips to help you get to where you need to be safely this winter.
The AA offers excellent advice on winter car maintenance including:
- Check your antifreeze levels and top it up if required. You should have a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze in your radiator to keep it protected down to -34°C.
- Clear all the ice and snow from your windows, number plate and lights.
- Make sure your battery is in good working order, as the extra heat, light and wiper activity will take its toll.
- Ensure your tyres are in peak condition - the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but the AA recommend at least 2mm and preferably 3mm to ensure a solid grip on icy roads.
- A squirt of WD-40 in locks will help stop them freezing up, and a thin coat of vaseline or polish on rubber door seals will keep them working properly.
Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit
- A blanket, rug or sleeping bag for warmth - just in case.
- A shovel to dig yourself out if need be.
- Bits of old carpet, thick cardboard or rugs (not the one you plan to huddle under!) under your driven wheels can help gain traction if you're stuck.
- A tub of Icemelt™ can help clear snow and ice.
- Reflective jackets - enough for everyone who's likely to be in the car.
- Ice scraper and de-icer.
- Torch with fresh batteries.
- Tow rope.
- Jump leads.
- Bottled water.
- Plenty of chocolate or other high calorie snacks.
- An extra bottle of screen wash.
- A set of Glasdon Ice Grips™ in your size.