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Winter 2016: Be Prepared

The beginning of December marks the beginning of meteorological winter. While this year seems somewhat mild so far, it still means that roads are wet, winds are high, and evenings are foggy. To ensure that you are as prepared as you can be, to see you safely through until spring, Safer Roads are offering useful advice; to help motorists to stay safe this winter.

Wet or icy roads will greatly affect the way in which your car will handle and brake. Even this will vary depending on how good the tyres fitted to your car are. Stopping distances can be increased by as much as 10 times on icy roads and twice as much on wet roads.

Leave plenty of room between you and the car in the front giving you more time to react and slow down safely if necessary. Don’t just rely on your brakes to slow you down, use your gears to control your speed.

The simplest advice is to leave a little longer for your journey than you would have otherwise. Poor road conditions mean that traveling may be rather slow going, and can lead to a build-up in traffic. No one likes being late, so by giving yourself an extra few minutes, you should be avoiding a whole lot of stress. Check your route before leaving to see if there are any delays and listen out for traffic reports in case you have to alter your planned route.

Your windscreen will become very dirty over winter, with all of the salt and mud on the roads. Remember to keep topping up your washer fluid levels with a good winter mix and check your wiper blades are still in good working order. You should also keep a dry cloth (or paper towels) inside the car to wipe clear the inside of the windscreen.

Remember to do regular checks of all of your car’s lights front, back and side. If you do find that a bulb has gone, replace it immediately. Check in your car’s handbook for the kind of bulb you need. They’re not always all the same fitting. If you’re still not sure, take it to a garage or ask for advice from a motor accessories retailer. A full guide on preparing your car for winter is on the website via the link below.

Finally the Highway Code advises that you carry an emergency kit of de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing and boots, first aid kit, jump leads and a shovel, together with a warm drink and emergency food in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down.

For a more advice, and for a full winter maintenance guide, you can visit saferroads.org/winter.

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