Winter weather can mean hell on the roads – but it needn’t be if you take the right precautions.
According to the AA, winter is the time of year when you’re most likely to break down. So be smart and be prepared by packing these winter essentials in your car:
You’re required by law to keep your front and rear windscreen clear of snow and ice when driving. So make sure you pack an ice scraper, or you might find yourself scraping at your windows with your credit card.
When there’s deep snow on the ground, especially on less busy roads that won’t get cleared, it’s very easy for your car wheels to get stuck. A shovel can save the day by letting you dig out snow from under your tyre, or pushing some dirt under your tyre to improve its grip.
Rock salt will help your tyres gain traction if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow. Throw some in front of your tyres to stop them slipping. If you don’t have rock salt, sand or even kitty litter can work just as well.
Reflective warning signs
If you break down, it’s a legal requirement to set up reflective warning signs to warn other motorists and avoid collisions. You need two signs, one in front of your car and another at the rear. The rear sign must be at least 45 meters behind your car.
If you’re stuck somewhere in winter you want to be able to call for help, so make sure you have an in-car charger to charge up your phone. If you’re a member of a breakdown service, make sure you have their number close at hand.
Jump start cables
You can get a flat battery anytime, but it’s far more likely to happen in cold winter weather. To jump start your car battery, you need jump start cables, so keep a pair in your trunk. If your battery dies, you can get a jump start from a friend or passing driver.
Although you might not want to drive in a thick coat, it’s a good idea to pack one in case you do break down. Also consider packing a hat, gloves and a spare jumper. Don’t forget your passengers, you’ll want to ensure they don’t freeze while they’re waiting for you to get help.
If you end up stuck for a long time, blankets are essential to keep you and your passengers warm and toasty. You can’t always rely on your car heater, especially if your car won’t turn on. If you’re short on space, pocket-sized heat reflective blankets will do the job.
Food and drink
Being stuck on the road in freezing weather is bad enough, but if you’re hungry as well it can be even worse. So make sure you keep some snacks at hand to keep energy levels up. A big flask of hot tea or coffee will help keep you warm.
Pack a first aid kit. It’s good practice and you’ll never know when you’re going to need it. Make sure your kit includes bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, scissors, gauze and any essential medications.
Thinking of doing some driving this winter? Before you set off, why not get your car checked and serviced by our friendly team at Bromley Vehicle Test Centre? You can book your car in by giving us a call on 020 8460 6666.