Winter 2019 is definitely on the way and we’re making sure all of our drivers are prepared for their courier runs as the weather turns. Following on from our blog on using Winter tyres, we wanted to share our advice on overall safe driving during the chilly season!
Make sure you’re prepared for the conditions in which you will be driving. Watch the weather forecast and keep an eye on it as the day progresses – who doesn’t have a weather app on their phone to check!
It’s best to have everything you need in your car, so a list of items would ideally include:
- De-icer for icy windows
- Scraper for frost and ice
- Warm blanket in case of breakdowns
- Warm clothing, inc jacket, hat, gloves and scarf
- Spare change for unexpected parking charges
- Shovel, in case you get stuck in the snow
- Salt, as this can help to melt very thin ice
- Snacks and a bottle of water, either for drinking or using to melt the ice on your windscreen (don’t ever use hot water, as this can crack the glass!)
- If you travel with children, take along some activities for them in case of traffic jams or breakdowns. This could be books, puzzles or electronic devices
- Phone charger, an essential all year round in case you need your phone for emergencies
- Sunglasses as the Winter sun can be even more dazzling than in Summer
Listen to what other drivers are saying about the state of the roads and the traffic conditions. Social media has meant that people can share updates in real time, warning of accidents, jams and road closures to the local public so others can be aware.
Make sure you also share if there are problems. It really helps – forewarned is forearmed!
It’s also really handy to have the radio traffic reports on if your car stereo has the option. These come up every 20-30 minutes from the nearest station to your location with an update on the local roads. Traffic reports will interrupt whatever media you are listening to, so you don’t have to worry about missing them once the option is ON.
The obvious one – drive safely! Drive in accordance to the conditions, leaving larger braking distances in the wet or ice, and using your indicators so other road users know your intentions. Make sure your lights work properly and are on at the right times, including fog lights if the weather dictates. Remember also to turn fog lights off once you have driven through any foggy patches, as these can be blinding to other drivers, especially the rear fog light.