1. Plan ahead
Before setting off, ask yourself if the journey is essential; avoiding travelling when the roads are icy or snowy is the best way to keep safe during these adverse weather conditions. Plan your trip and check traffic sites for local adverse weather announcements if you need to drive.
2. Lighting the way
From headlights and brake lights to front and rear fog lights, be sure that every light functions correctly and appears bright. Check them before each journey to ensure good visibility for you and others. In addition, you can ask a friend or family member to drive behind you to check your lights are working correctly.
3. Check your car’s health
Ensure your windscreen wipers are working and the screenwash is full, as well as making sure it is of good quality to prevent the liquid from freezing. Always check your tyres fit the legal tread depth to account for adverse surface conditions.
4. Take time to de-ice
Deicing the windscreen can be irritating, especially in the early morning, so using a good quality de-icer is essential.
5. Store a survival pack in the boot of your car
If you become stuck on your journey, having a selection of items in the boot of your car can be critical to your safety. High visibility jackets, a small spade, de-icer, torch, first aid kit, water and snacks, and some warm blankets should help as you await rescue.
Driving in adverse weather
1. Go slow; Your speed should be significantly lower when the roads are icy, as this can give you more time to react in case of losing control.
2. Stick to the main roads; the main roads and highways are more likely to be gritted than country roads, so plan extra time on your journey to travel the safest route.
3. Share your journey with friends and family. That way, they know where you are at all times and can assist if you get into difficulty.
4. Schedule ten extra minutes into your journey time before you leave. This way, you can de-ice your car correctly, and check your tyres, windscreen wipers, and lights are all in working order.
5. Black ice can be anxiety provoking; if you do hit black ice, avoid slamming on the breaks. Instead, lift your foot off the accelerator, steer straight over the ice, and always ensure your hands are entirely on the wheel.
What to do if you’re involved in an accident
- Primarily, seek medical attention if required. Ambulance callouts in the UK peaked in January 2022, with a call coming to 999 nationally every 33 seconds. Utilise the first aid kit in the back of your car, or get a passenger to assist. If your injuries require further care, call for emergency services. Seeking medical attention also helps to add evidence to a potential insurance claim.
- Take pictures at the scene of the incident, taking down your version of events and potential details of whoever is involved. Save your dashcam footage if you have one fitted to your vehicle.
- Finally, get in touch with your insurance company. Lodge a claim at your earliest convenience, and they’ll help you to get back on the road.
For more information see https://www.claims.co.uk who commissioned the advice.