What to do before setting off in winter

What to do before setting off in winter 28th November 2014

Winter driving is more difficult than taking to the road at other times of the year, of that there can be little doubt. Official figures state that the colder conditions contribute to somewhere in the region of 6,000 accidents in winter alone each year. 

Safe driving is obviously paramount to ensuring drivers are at low risk of an accident on the road, but as much as it's important to know how to deal with the road itself, preparation can also be key to ensuring that a journey goes smoothly. 

We take a look at a few top tips for things you should do before setting off in winter.

  • Check your tyres. Some 48 per cent of all accidents on winter roads are a result of skidding, so healthy tyres are vitally important to making sure you remain safe. Before you drive, check the tread. If they are getting worn and the tread looks shallow, you should always change your tyres straight away. 
  • Give yourself time. If you're in a rush to get to work, it can be infuriating when the windscreen is frosted over. However, you should never drive away without giving yourself time to properly clear the windows. Too many people try to set off after just clearing the driver's side of the windscreen, but this is incredibly dangerous. Make sure your line of vision is unobstructed before setting off.
  • Window wipers. It might seem like a trivial issue, but checking your windscreen wipers is vitally important. In winter, the road can kick up more dirt than at any other time of the year, which can cause issues with visibility. In addition, using wipers on frozen windows can tear the wiper blades, so you need to check they are working well before you set off.
  • Emergency kit. Finally, you'll also want to make sure that you have an emergency kit with you before you set off. If you break down or get stuck, it's important to be able to deal with it. Make sure you have a shovel, some warm clothes, food and drink and a fully charged mobile phone before you drive. 

Posted by Danielle Barge