10th November 2014

posted by AM_admin

Safe driving during winter period

As the cold is now setting in and ice will surely start to form during the build up to Christmas it is important to stay safe whilst driving. Here at AM Support Services we want to help out as much as we can so have listed some tips which have also been approved by the AA.

In some parts of mainland Europe it is a legal requirement for drivers to have 2 sets of tyres: “summer” tyres and “winter” tyres. Winter tyres are not a legal requirement in the UK but action needs to be taken when the roads are icy, so there are some things to consider:

  • If you live in a remote area and will use your car a lot during the winter months it is worth considering buying winter tyres if you struggle with the conditions.
  • All season tyres are available which offer a compromise between summer and winter tyres and can be used all year round; these won’t be as good as specialist tyres but are worth considering for the cost implications.
  • Snow chains can be used in an emergency if there is a layer of snow or ice on the road and can be awkward to fit when it is cold and wet.
  • If you are considering fitting winter tyres you should contact your insurer to inform them that you are now using winter tyres and make sure they are fitted correctly to avoid accidents.
  • Always ensure that the tyres you fit are 3mm in tread depth and no less than 2mm and that your tyre pressure is as normal as any lower will affect handling.

Check your vehicle is ready for winter and always carry an emergency kit. 

Regularly servicing and checking your vehicle is in good running order, before setting out, will reduce your chances of breaking down on the road.   

It’s worth making the following checks regularly – and particularly before a long winter journey: 

  • Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator
  • Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs 
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean (inside and outside) 
  • Replace the battery if it’s not reliable

Your Emergency Kit 

Just gather together the items below and pack in the car at the start of the winter season. You never know when you might need them. Your emergency kit should include:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and spare batteries – or a wind-up torch
  • Warm clothes and blankets – for you and all passengers
  • Boots
  • First aid kit
  • Jump leads
  • A shovel
  • Road atlas
  • Sunglasses (the glare off snow can be dazzling)

Before each journey in severe weather

  • Clear any snow and ice from all windows, lights and number plates. Make sure you can see clearly and be seen.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged – but don’t use while driving.
  • Take some food and a warm drink in a flask in case you get stuck. Don’t forget to take any personal medication too!  

We hope that you found this information to be useful – keep safe!