I am currently sat in my dining room, heating on full blast, cup of tea in hand, watching my brother “gear up” for a couple of hours fun in the snow outside with my nephews. He looks like he is ready to join an expedition to cross the Antarctic! I will be considered “boring Aunty” as I have chosen to stay in the warm. The only thing that would make me consider going outside was if someone had invited group of penguins to join in the fun!
I am lucky enough to have a job where I can work from home, but Monday morning for many will probably mean a delayed journey to work in the cold and before they even get to work, tempers could very well be frayed. It is all very well advising us all only to travel if absolutely necessary, however for many of us this is not an option as a day at home could mean no pay and many bosses will expect their staff in work no matter the weather conditions.
So… for all those that have no other choice other than using their car in adverse weather conditions, please consider the following before setting off on your journey.
It would be prudent to check items such as the tread on your tyres, water levels, oil levels etc… This will ensure the vehicle is running efficiently and prevent unnecessary breakdowns. If the weather is such that temperatures are freezing it would be practical to make sure you have plenty de-icer for both the windscreen and locks.
Check that your windscreen wipers are capable of clearing your windscreen and that all of the lights are working perfectly. You can only be responsible for your own driving; however you still need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to make sure other road users can see you.
Driving Your Vehicle
Many of us are guilty of creeping a few miles an hour over the speed limits in perfect driving conditions, however now is the time to stick to the speed limits in place. They are there for a reason. Your mind needs to be totally focused on your driving so distractions such as the stereo on full volume should be a no-no. If you have company in the car such as children, make sure they are aware that misbehaving is not an option; you need to keep your eyes on the road. Using your mobile phone, whilst driving, is an offense which is punishable by law. If you have to use it, find a safe place to pull over, stop your car and switch off the engine before doing so.
In the Event of a Breakdown.
You should make sure you have a “Warning Triangle” in your car which should be placed appropriately on the road if you have broken down. It would also be sensible to make sure you have a working torch. Most importantly your car documents including insurance details, driving license, details of the relevant recovery company and as most of us own a mobile phone, ensure that it is fully charged before leaving the house.
It would also be sensible to take in your vehicle with you a blanket and/or warm clothing in the event you find yourself waiting for the necessary services for a long period of time. If you have children with you, then it would also be prudent to bring along items that will keep them distracted and entertained in the circumstances.
If you would like more information about learning the valuable skills for driving in adverse weather conditions, visit the Passplus page at James School of Motoring.