This week we have had some severe weather warnings, with a level 3 alert. It is for this reason that we have decided to give some useful tips that will help you deal with the cold weather.
One of the biggest risks during the winter period is driving, in particular it is driving on ice and snow. Even though we are warned not to drive on the ice or snow and told to stay put, a surprising number of us decide that we will take that risk. Nearly half of all drivers decide that they need to drive for various reasons, so below are some tips to help drivers that decide to bare the icy conditions.
Preparing to drive on the road:
It is important that before setting off, you clear your car from and ice and snow. You may need to get up 15 minutes earlier than you would do. It is important that you make sure that all your windows and the windscreen is completely clear and that you have done your best to remove any snow that is sitting on the top of your car as this could fall down onto your windscreen and obscure your view. Full visibility is a must in any driving situation.
When in severe conditions there are a few things that are advised that you take with you. De-icer and a scraper is an obvious one, however, you should make sure you have a mobile phone that is fully charged, a hazard triangle, a first-aid kit, a tow rope, a shovel an old rug or equivalent (to place in front of the wheels to provide more grip) and blankets in case you get stuck.
Plan your route so that you stick to major roads wherever possible as these are most likely to be gritted.
Make sure that you do not rush. It is important that even if you are going to be late, you don't start going quicker to get to your destination.
Driving on snow and ice:
Listen out for your tyres, if they are making no noise at all you are most likely driving on ice.
If you find that your vehicle is skidding, you need to depress the clutch and steer in the direction of the skid to counter act it. It is important that you do not break during this as the wheels on your car will lock and cause you to skid further.
It is very important to remember that stopping distances are 10 times longer in icy conditions, so keep your speed down.
Make sure that your manoeuvres are gentle to ensure you drive safely.
Try and pull away in second gear as this will reduce wheel spin.
If you find that you are stuck then straighten your wheels and remove all the snow/ice from around them. Place an old rug, carpet or blanket in front of the wheels to provide more grip so that you can pull away.
Due to these icy conditions, perhaps it might be best to have a car pooling plan in place for employees to get to work. If someone has a 4x4 then they would be the ideal person to offer giving lifts as they are more likely to be able to get to work than someone who doesn't, so to avoid absences perhaps a system like this should be put in place.
Prepare your driveway:
This might be an obvious one, but make sure that you keep a shovel in the porch or in the house so you can dig out your drive and path. With the weather in recent years, some people have decided to buy rock salt to help them clear their driveway.