Right now, we’re all surrounded by reminders that winter is just around the corner; The Christmas TV adverts have started, and the seasonal drinks have appeared in the coffee chains. Morning frosts and news reports of “travel chaos” can surely not be far away?
Winter delivers some real challenges to UK motorists. So here we have some tips to help you get through the cold season without too many unexpected delays and unwanted surprises.
1. Driving properly in the rain
The Telegraph has produced a detailed guide to driving in the rain, in response to claims that we have “months of winter storms” on the way.
Such claims are so frequent, it’s hard to believe them until they come true. That said, recent weeks have delivered plenty of damp and drizzly weather. The guide mentioned above makes for a good read, but the key takeaway advice is to suitably adapt your driving style during wet weather, especially when it comes to being aware of increased stopping distances.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, plenty of people ignore this advice, so driving defensively is another wise strategy to minimise the chances of other people’s poor driving affecting you.
2. Correctly maintaining your car
Winter is really not the time to find yourself on the roadside awaiting a recovery truck. As such, it’s also not the time to neglect properly maintaining your car. Pay attention to oil levels and tyre pressures, and don’t ignore any irritating faults that could become more of an issue further down the line.
Most importantly, make sure you’ve actually got breakdown cover and that it hasn’t expired.
3. Driving in the snow
Driving in the snow requires similar precautions to driving in the rain. While there’s no certainty of snow over the winter, it’s quite possible, especially in more northern parts of the UK.
When the ground becomes covered with snow and ice, it’s worth taking seriously those warnings of “only travel if necessary.” If you can avoid a journey, give it some serious consideration, and if you must venture out, check the travel news and stick to well maintained major roads.
4. Dealing with the inevitable “travel chaos”
You can be certain that there will be news reports of travel chaos all over the festive season, and if there’s no flexibility in your schedule you may have no option but to get caught up in some of it.
Having said that, at the time of writing it’s only mid-November. Now’s the time to start thinking about your seasonal travel plans to see if you can make some intelligent decisions about when to undertake your major journeys. Christmas day falls on a Friday this year, so some people won’t have any option but to travel on a chaotic Christmas Eve. With that in mind, now may be the time to book some annual holiday to give you the freedom to travel on a different day. A little lateral thinking can help you avoid getting caught up in the inevitable tailbacks.
5. Being prepared
Now’s the time to make sure you have a spare tyre, throw some provisions and warm jumpers in the boot of your car, and always make sure you have charge in your phone. That way you’re prepared for whatever this coming winter throws at you!
IMAGE CREDIT: Geograph