Every year thousands of motorists get caught out by winter weather. It is essential that you carry out simple safety checks on your car before the onset of winter.
check your tyres, do they have enough tread and are they properly inflated?
check your anti-freeze and top it up if required
check your battery to see if it needs charged or replaced
check your windscreen wipers and demisting system, and top up your washer bottle regularly
check your lights - are your bulbs all working and are your lights clear from snow or dirt?
keep your car clean - road salt reduces visibility and quickly damages body work
If you are not sure about doing these checks yourself, garages will do a winter service for you. These are cheaper than normal services and cover all the things that can go wrong in winter.
Driving in winter
Not surprisingly, the accident rate greatly increases at the first sign of ice and snow. Even a small amount of snow can have your car skidding all over the place and make climbing a hill impossible. If you do get caught follow these tips:
bring your speed down to a crawl
make allowances for other drivers and give your signals in plenty of time
keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front - stopping distances are much greater in snow and ice
when driving up hills keep well back and let the car in front get over the top, select a high gear and build your speed up, keep your speed up as you climb and then select a lower gear than normal when going down the hill
If you do get stuck in snow a plastic shovel (snow sticks to metal), blankets and emergency supplies are a must. If the situation is really serious it is advisable to remain with the car until help comes. If you use the heater, make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow as death from carbon monoxide poisoning can result. Watch out for ice under slushy snow or under an overnight snowfall, and keep an eye open for places such as overhanging trees and bridges where black ice can form.
Roads and Transportation Services
The Johnnie Walker Bond
15 Strand Street