Britain is to be plunged into a deep freeze today, with 60mph gusts and temperatures falling to -13°C, so motoring experts Haynes Manuals has issued key advice for motorists on keeping safe when facing a variety of winter hazards.
A severe cold front is making its way down from the Arctic, bringing an “80 % probability of icy conditions and heavy snow”, according to the MET Office. The blizzard-like weather will result in difficult driving conditions for motorists, so Haynes Manuals has offered the following tips:
- Check routes before you travel. Both the MET Office and BBC Weather websites include detailed information about the main problem areas across the UK. Check that your routes are clear, especially if you are driving somewhere new.
- Prepare for the worst. Before heading out into the cold, ensure that you have a full tank of fuel, your charged mobile phone and some warm clothes. It is also advisable to take something to eat and drink as these could prove vital if you do break down or get stranded.
- Ensure your car is in good condition before you set off. Check that your battery is charged, your lights are working, your windows are clean, your screen wash is full, your tyres are in good condition and tyre pressures correct before you start your journey.
- Be cautious when driving on slippery roads. If your vehicle skids, depress the clutch and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. When the vehicle straightens steer along the road. Whatever you do, don't brake, it will just lock up your wheels and you'll skid further.
- Drive safely. Driving in blizzard-like conditions can be extremely hazardous, so use caution. Be aware of low visibility and slippery roads caused by snow showers and frost covering the ground, particularly early in the morning. Leave adequate distance between cars, stopping distances are ten times longer in ice and snow so don’t go too fast.
Remember: Icy road conditions and snow blizzards put extra strain on car and driver alike, so preparing in advance is highly recommended to keep drivers and passengers safe on UK roads.
Don’t forget to check your tyres, lights, wipers and battery, but most importantly drive safely. Conditions across the UK are expected to become extremely treacherous, so it is essential that drivers take proper care and pay attention to the road.
If conditions are really bad, then consider whether your journey is necessary. If it is then make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to arrive.