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Driving safely is imperative at all times of the year, but especially during the unpredictable winter months. There are lots of different factors to consider before you head out in your vehicle as the risks and hazards could increase unexpectedly. Here are some tips on how to prepare for bad weather conditions and how to act if you get caught out.

Winter Driving Tips

Assess Your Vehicle and Ensure It’s Safe to Drive

Some checks you can perform before driving in bad weather include:

  • Check that there is no ice, snow or condensation on the lights, windows and mirrors. Make sure there is no snow on the roof of your vehicle either and that both your wipers and lights are in good working condition.
  • Check that your tyres are in good condition, with plenty of tread depth and the correct amount of pressure; this will ensure you have enough grip on slippery surfaces.
  • Check that anti-freeze has been added to your radiator and windscreen washer bottle.

Also, here are some guidelines to follow during the winter period:

  • Make sure that you have enough fuel in the tank so you have peace of mind that you will complete your journey.
  • Make sure you always take a fully charged phone with you in case of emergencies.
  • Make sure you regularly wash the salt and dirt that builds up on your vehicle during the winter.
  • Make sure you never use water to defrost your windows.

Be as Prepared for Bad Weather as You Can

Before you head out on your journey, keep an ear out for the weather forecast so you can plan your route out carefully. Allow plenty of time for any hold-ups and let someone at the depot know your estimated time of arrival. When driving, try to keep up to date with the Highways Agency and traffic information so you can adjust your journey accordingly.

Tips for Driving in the Snow

If you ever encounter snow on your journey, here are a few tips to ensure maximum safety:

  • Slowly means safely and space is essential; this will ensure you have enough room in case you need to stop. It will also make sure that you can keep an eye out for any pedestrians, cyclists and any other hazards.
  • Along with slow speeds, you should always manoeuvre gently to ensure you stay in control. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, and whenever conducting any manoeuvres, do it with extra care.
  • If you need to brake on ice or snow, move into a lower gear if possible earlier than normal so your vehicle slows down and use your brake gently. If you skid, ease off both pedals and try to stay calm. In order to avoid wheel spinning, use the highest gear possible.

Other Winter Weather Condition Driving Tips

Always remember to stay at a consistently slow pace and keep a greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front; the stopping distance is greater if the roads are icy.

If there are high winds, take extra care on roads that are exposed and going over bridges. If you can feel your vehicle moving and being blown about, slow down and try to keep as steady as possible.

Remember to keep your windscreen clean and a pair of sunglasses handy as the winter sun can be extremely dazzling. Whether it’s low in the sky or reflecting off wet surfaces, it can compromise your vision so be careful.

Staying Safe on the Roads This Winter

At Cross Country Carriers, we take road safety extremely seriously and always ensure that drivers understand how to drive safely in winter. You can rely on our trusted fleet of HGV’s for any of your pallet distribution or collection needs, so contact us today to see how we can help you.

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