With the UK now resembling a scene from the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ it’s a great time to be out playing in the snow, but driving in these conditions is not always as enjoyable. Being the helpful sort here at Onyx Snowboarding we’ve teamed up with our friends at the RAC, the breakdown cover specialists, to share some tips for staying safe and avoiding breakdowns on the winter roads, plus the chance to win an RAC Winter Driving Pack (DETAILS AT BOTTOM). Winning all round!
CHECK YOUR CAR:
Did you check it this winter? Bet you didn’t…. a slapped wrist in the post for you! There are a few really simple checks you can make on your car to ensure everything is in suitable condition for winter:
- Car battery failure is one of the most common reasons the RAC gets called out and during the winter months your battery is more liable to run flat so be sure to check it regularly.
- Make sure your coolant and screenwash are both topped up; the coolant should contain sufficient anti-freeze for the low temperatures. The Onyx team have on more than one occasion had to lean out of the window throwing water/lemonade on the windscreen to clean it, we DO NOT recommend it so keep the fluids topped up!
- Snow & ice make it much harder for your tyres to maintain the necessary grip so it’s vital they have enough tread depth to cope. The RAC recommend a depth of at LEAST 3mm. If living in resort this season do the sensible thing and get some winter tyres fitted and snow chains, it is money well spent and will keep you safer on the roads.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED:
Just like the boy scouts keep telling us you can never guarantee you won’t encounter some trouble, but by keeping the following items in your car you can make sure you’re well prepared for any situation.
- De-icer – way quicker than a scraper and great for frozen locks too!
- Warm clothes and blanket. Don’t forget some gloves in case you need to dig your car out.
- Boots with grip or ice grips for your shoes (like snow chains for shoes).
- A First aid kit
- Jump leads
- Food/snacks and a warm drink in a thermos
- Shovel – The Onyx team have had to dig our cars out more times than we have fingers this season!
- A 1m by 0.5m piece of carpet (or your floor mats) – Can help add some grip under the tyres if stuck in car parks.
- Reflective warning sign
- Road atlas
- In-car mobile phone charger
- The Onyx team also carry an emergency ‘Jerry Can’ of petrol in the boot just in case.
ADJUST THE WAY YOU DRIVE:
Winter conditions mean you have to be much more careful when driving and even if you don’t consider yourself an aggressive driver, take a moment to read through these tips:
- Accelerate gently and move up to a higher gear quicker than normal to avoid wheel spin. Consider starting out in second gear if you are on snowy roads.
- Leave a larger gap to the car in front of you – you may need up to 10 times the stopping distance on icy roads.
- Many drivers can be seen driving in the tracks of other cars on snow covered roads but be warned – the snow in these tracks is usually more compact and icy.
- The low sun during the winter, combined with a snow covered road can cause a dazzling glare so always take a pair of sunglasses with you.
So now you’re armed with some extra knowledge to increase road safety this winter, it YOUR turn. To be in with a chance of winning this awesome RAC Winter Driving Pack simply leave a top tip for dealing with winter weather (driving, on snow related or otherwise) in the comments section below…. easy! Not only will that enter you into the competition but you’ll also have that warm fuzzy feeling inside from spreading good karma and helping others!
The team will pick our favourite tip from all replies submitted before 23:59 GMT on Sunday 27th January 2013.
In the meantime you can check out the great breakdown and recovery services on offer from the RAC here http://www.rac.co.uk
Good luck and safe driving!
The competition is open to UK resident with a UK mailing address only.