Remember that before every journey, during winter in particular, it is important that you know you're ready to go.
Things to check before you travel:
- Plenty of fuel - you burn more fuel during colder months, so avoid letting your fuel levels drop too low before driving.
- Oil levels - avoid serious engine damage by keeping your oil level between the minimum and maximum mark on your car's dipstick.
- Check your tyres - keep an eye out for general wear and tear, cracks, splits, bulges and tread depth.
- Windscreen wipers - check the windscreen wipers before travel and change if necessary. They are prone to freezing, so if you need to use de-icer or warm water, but never hot water.
- Lights - essential to ensuring that you can see where you're going, and that people can see you. Make sure your lights work before leaving.
- Washer fluid - generally, there is more dirt around in colder months so keep your windscreen clean, and remember to keep checking your washer fluid levels, topping up when needed.
Before driving somewhere, other than checking your vehicle to ensure that it is prepared for the cold weather, planning and preparing for your journey is also very important.
Planning Your Journey
- Weather going to be particularly bad? Plan your journey in advance.
- Stick to main roads. Generally kept clear and well gritted. Avoid hills and rural routes.
- In case of a breakdown, pack warm clothes, some basic tools, as well as food and water.
- Let your loved ones know where you are. Keep your mobile with you, or let them know where you're headed before you leave.
- Go slow. If you need to manoeuvre or stop as a result of what's happening around you, a slower speed decreases the chance of an accident.
Not sure? If you do not feel comfortable to start your journey because of adverse weather, don't. Consider whether your journey is really necessary.