November 26, 2013
At Rix we have been busy preparing our vehicles so that we can keep delivering fuel as reliably and safely as ever through the winter months. For us this means fitting winter tyres, carrying show chains and lots of other safety measures. Luckily for our domestic customers – preparing for winter travel needn’t be as dramatic with our handy guide.
Before winter starts
- Get your vehicle serviced before the cold weather starts.
- If a service isn’t due you can still get a winter check at your local garage.
- You are more likely to breakdown in winter, so make sure you have breakdown cover that is suitable for your needs.
- Accidents are more likely to occur in the winter, so be prepared to help if you need to. Carry an emergency kit with first aid, blankets, jump leads, a torch and anything else you may need.
- Make sure you have antifreeze. It’s the safest way to defrost your car, but you’ll need to make sure you have plenty ready to go when you need it, and keep some in your car in case you need it while you’re out too. The AA’s website has some good advice on how to de-ice your car safely.
Before you start your journey
- Check weather and traffic reports before you set off anywhere to make sure it is safe to travel and you are prepared for the weather. The MET Office is a good source for weather information, and you can visit The Highways Agency for traffic information.
- Check you have enough fuel to complete your journey.
- Carry extra fuel in case of the inevitable traffic delays that winter weather can cause.
- If you are going on a long journey, also consider packing some food and a flask of hot drink, and any medicines you take in case you are delayed.
- Make sure your phone is charged, and get a car charger in case it runs out. You may need to call for breakdown assistance or just let someone know you’ll be late.
During your journey
- Set your car radio to receive traffic updates if it has that function. Most of the year you might find it annoying, but at a time when breakdowns, accidents and delays are higher than ever this becomes very useful!
- If you are on a long journey, when you take a break, check the traffic conditions with The Highway Agencies mobile website.
Tips for driving on Snow and Ice!
Below are some quick tips for driving in snow and ice, but be prepared for other weather conditions as well.
- Always leave a safe distance – remember stopping distances can be 10 times longer.
- To avoid wheel-spin pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently
- When driving uphill make sure you can safely maintain a constant speed to the top.
- When driving downhill select a low gear well in advance and avoid use of brakes.
- Know how to gain control of a skid and what to do if you get stuck. For more information The AA and The RAC both have comprehensive guides for safe driving in winter conditions.