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5 top tips for winter driving

Wintery weather conditions are upon us and your safety while driving is key. If you have to drive in bad conditions, it’s important to change your approach, plan ahead and also change the way you drive.
Here are our top tips for staying safe on the roads this winter:

23 November 2021

Wintery weather conditions are upon us and your safety while driving is key. If you have to drive in bad conditions, it’s important to change your approach, plan ahead and even change the way you drive.

Here are our top tips for staying safe on the roads this winter:

1. Plan ahead:

• Listen to weather forecasts, travel bulletins and any advice issued by Think! And change or delay your journey as appropriate.
• Plan you journey, stick to major routes where possible. Allow extra time for your journey.
• Inform someone such as your employer, manager or supervisor where you are going and your estimated arrival time so that an alarm can be raised if you fail to arrive.

2. Change your driving:

• Allow more time for your journey and take your time
• Reduce your speed and drive according to the road and weather conditions, maintain greater stopping distances (double in wet weather and ten times greater in icy weather).
• Make sure you avoid sharp breaking and steering. Think ahead and go into lower gears ahead of slowing down so you only need to gently push the break.

3. Ensure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition prior to driving. Check that:

• Tyres are in good conditions and inflated to the correct pressure (including the spare).
• The vehicle has plenty of fuel.
• Wipers, defrosters and lights are in good working order.
• An ice-scraper or de-icer is available for ice or snow.
• Fill your washer bottle with windscreen wash. The concentration used should be appropriate for the weather conditions.

4. Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle containing items such as:

• A high visibility, reflective jacket or vest in the vehicle cab (so that you can put it on before you leave the vehicle).
• A torch with extra batteries.
• An emergency warning triangle.
• A mobile phone – for use only when parked.

5. In cases where travel is unavoidable in extreme weather conditions, consider carrying items such as:

• Warm clothing including hat, gloves and a warm blanket or sleeping bag.
• Boots.
• Food and a warm drink in a flask.
• Shovel and material for providing wheel traction if driving on soft ground or snow (such as chains, old carpet, sand, gravel, cat litter or salt).

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