It is coming around to that time of year again – heavy frosts, ice and sometimes heavy snow ! The Highway Code (Rule 228) says “DO NOT drive in these conditions unless your journey is essential”. Also, before you set off Rule 229 states :
- you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
- you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
- make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
- remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
- check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.
Check that your vehicle is in a reliable state :
- Does it need a service ?
- Are all fluids at the correct level ?
- Are all your lights working ok ?
- Are your wiper blades clearing the screen properly ?
- Are your tyres safe and legal (see previous post) ?
Move off slowly in as high a gear as possible to prevent wheel spin. Allow more time for your journey, do not brake, steer or accelerate harshly. Use dipped beam headlights at all times to make yourself visible to others. Keep your windscreen demisted at all times.
Be aware of “micro climates” – patches of ice or snow lingering on the road surface which have not been exposed to the sun light (for example covered by the shadows of overhanging trees) !
Consider taking with you an emergency kit of de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing and boots, first aid kit, jump leads and a shovel, together with a warm drink and emergency food in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down.