Winter driving conditions can pose a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers, which is why it pays to know how to stay safe.
From checking your vehicle to having safety equipment, there are numerous ways that you can look after both you and your car this winter.
Regardless of whether you’re using your own vehicle or are renting one, we’ve detailed a list of essential winter driving tips, designed to make your time out on the road as hazard-free and as hassle-free as possible.
Check weather forecasts and road conditions before setting off on your journey and question if you really need to travel if extreme weather warnings are in place, this is especially important for long trips.
Check your lights and fluids
Ensure that your headlights, sidelights and any other lighting are clean of any mud or ice and that they are in full working condition before starting your journey.
Also check your fluids, such as oil, anti-freeze and windscreen wash. In the case of the latter, ensure it is mixed at the right concentration, or it may freeze when you need to use it.
Ensure good visibility
Guarantee visibility is at its maximum by filling up your screen wash, by cleaning or de-icing windows and by making sure your window wipers are working.
Drive according to the conditions
In snow or icy conditions, as well as heavy rain, reduce your speed and avoid harsh braking, as this can lead to sliding and potentially losing control of your vehicle.
Be particularly careful on any inclines and constantly check your brakes. Avoid using cruise control when driving on any slippery surfaces.
Charge your mobile device
Should something go wrong, you’ll likely need your mobile phone to call for help. Ensure your device is fully charged prior to travelling.
Consider winter tyres
If you live in a highland area or one that is prone to snow, you may want to fit winter tyres and even snow chains to your vehicle.
Most rental vehicles are already fitted with such tyres, and in some countries, winter tyres are even a legal requirement.
Check that the tyres are inflated properly and ensure that they have enough tread depth to provide grip.
Give yourself extra time when travelling to ensure you are never rushing anywhere. This frees up time should you need to de-ice your vehicle or make any checks before leaving.
Pack essential supplies
If you’re embarking on a long journey, ensure you have adequate food and water, as well as blankets, extra clothing and a first aid kit.
Other emergency equipment such as a hazard warning triangle, torches and de-icing equipment may be included as part of a rental, although you should check with the car hire firm.
Any items that are legally required in the country of hire should be included as standard.
Have emergency contacts
Know the emergency contact numbers for all of the essential services and know what to do if you become stranded or have an emergency.
Check your insurance cover
Ensure you have adequate insurance cover in place before setting off on your journey. You can cover your personal motor excess or hire car excess with a Questor Insurance reimbursement policy.
Snow can provide some of the toughest driving conditions and you should be especially careful when out on the roads. If you can, avoid travel in such conditions. If you do need to make a journey, take the following into consideration:
Date Created: 15/11/2019