Before driving in the snow
First ask yourself is your journey necessary?
If not STAY AT HOME!
If however you have to make a necessary journey it is worth knowing how to prepare yourself and your car, while also considering different ways to approach your driving when faced with adverse conditions.
Plan your journey Before you set off, plan your journey carefully. Use Route Planners to get updates on traffic news to help make your journey as smooth as possible. Consider areas that are going to be exposed to the elements, and perhaps prone to flooding. Keep up-to-date with local weather to ensure you aren't caught out.
Leave more time Allow for more time than you normally would before you leave to clear car windows, mirrors, lights and the top of your roof of snow before setting off, driving with snow on you car could result in you breaking the law.
You will also need to de-ice your windscreen and you will need to take time to clear the inside of your windscreen too as it is illegal to drive without full visibility through all of your windows. It’s also a good idea to carry a lock de-icer with you to clear your lock. If your locks do get frozen, try warming the key or spraying de-icer or an oil-based lubricant into the lock. The following checks will also be time consuming so it is worth factoring them in too before you set off.
Check your wipers Make sure any auto wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition on as this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen. Your wipers need to be in good working order so you’re able to clean your windscreen effectively.
Check your tyres Check tyres for adequate tread. Poor tyres will not grip when driving on snow and ice. If you live in an area where snow is common it might be worth changing to winter tyres with deeper tread. If conditions are really bad you might want to consider the use of snow socks or even snow chains.
Check your screenwash Use a good quality screenwash that protects down to at least -35 to prevent the water from freezing. If you don’t, your windscreen wipers could be rendered useless in extreme conditions.
Pack for the worst Be prepared for every eventuality by ensuring that your car is equipped with the following: demisting pad, torch (wind-up so you don’t run out of battery), a hi-vis vest to make you visible if you break down, a blanket to keep you warm, some food, a drink, spare screenwash, de-icer, ice scraper, blanket, shovel, phone charger, map, a first aid kit, a warning triangle, some jump leads, a spade and a square of carpet that you can use to put under your drive wheels should you get stuck in the snow.
The most important thing to take with you before driving in snow is a charged mobile phone with the phone number of your breakdown provider stored in it so you can always call for help.