There’s something magical about winter travel, isn’t there. Seeing the snowflakes settle on your car windscreen is a joyous experience. Listening to your favourite Christmas carols on the stereo can also warm your heart. So, if you’re planning on visiting relatives during the upcoming festive season, or if you’re regularly using your car for commuting purposes in the chilly months ahead, then you might enjoy some of the highlights that many of us enjoy during the winter season.
Still, it’s not all snowflakes and heart-warming music when you’re driving. The roads, as you know, can be dangerous, so it’s important that you adhere to our tips for safer winter travel.
Don’t risk long journeys in a rickety old car
For those of you planning a winter road trip, you should be mindful of the car you are driving. If your motor is showing signs of wear and tear, then you might want to do one of three things. Firstly, take the train to get to where you need to be. Secondly, hire a car from a rental dealership. Or thirdly, relegate your car to the scrapheap in the sky, and purchase something that isn’t likely to break down when you’re travelling. By using the financing deals provided by firms such as Smile Car Finance, this last option doesn’t have to be a financial burden on you. By following any of these steps, you are guaranteeing your chances of safer winter travel.
Winterise your vehicle
Your car needs to be fit and ready for your winter journeys, so take the relevant steps to winterise it. Firstly, check your car tyres. The roads will be wet and slippy, so they do need to be blown up to the correct air pressure for greater protection. You might also swap them for winter tyres, as these offer greater traction when on roads overladen with ice. You should also ask a mechanic to check your car battery. As you probably know, the cold can be tough on this part of your car, and it might be worth replacing your battery if you have had it for several years. You should also add anti-freeze to your radiator, top up your wiper fluid (in the event of a muddy windscreen), and replace your wipers if necessary. Visit your local garage for further advice.
Carry the essentials
There are all kinds of things you need for your car when you’re driving in winter, so for your information, take a look at this winter driving checklist. From de-icers to warm blankets, you shouldn’t leave home without them. You should also have the numbers of your breakdown service and insurance company too in case of an emergency, as well as contact numbers for close friends and family in the event that you do get stranded somewhere. With this in mind then, don’t forget to bring a charger to juice up your phone.
Use your common sense
And finally, this is key when you’re planning on driving during the winter months. Where possible, don’t drive at all if the weather reports warn you of treacherous conditions. If you have programmed your phone or sat nav for road alerts (you should by the way) find alternative routes if you discover certain areas are flooded or loaded down with snow. And no matter how much in a hurry you are to get to your destination, don’t put your foot down. You might only end up in an accident if you do, especially at this time of year when it will be harder to slow down when faced with a car in front of you.