Winters in the UK and especially Scotland are hard-wearing on our automobiles. Even when there isn’t the risk of ice, the rain can pose several hazards all on its own. Combine those wet roads with sub-zero temperatures overnight and your morning commute could very well be faced with black ice. Drive on country and forest roads and the danger is intensified due to the increased risk of other drivers and animals alike. If you have a new vehicle, or if you’re new to driving, then your first winter is going to be a cold wakeup call.
To safely drive during these conditions you need to be able to trust your vehicle 100%. This means taking it in to be serviced and adopting a few new habits.
Check Tyre Health
Always check tyre health, even if the vehicle is new and especially if it was purchased second hand. You might also want to consider switching your tyres to winter models depending on where you typically drive. If you frequently go out of town then winter tyres will give you better traction.
Stock Your Vehicle with These Winter Essentials
Unless you only ever drive within town or on well-serviced roads then you are going to want to pack up on some winter essentials. From the best tyres chains available at the Snow Chains UK shop to an ice scraper to even a phone charger or booster cables, these essentials can help you get out of a pickle on deserted roads in winter:
- Snow Chains or Socks
- Ice Scraper and Brush
- Phone Charger or GPS
- Warm Clothes and Blankets
- Matches or a Lighter
- Drinking Water
Inspect Your Vehicle Before You Drive
Ice can build up on your vehicle every single morning, especially in the UK, where it is prone to rain all day and then freeze at night. Going through and removing this ice, inspecting your lights, tyres, and undercarriage during this season is very important to ensure everything is still in full working order and you are safe to drive.
Be Careful on All Roads
Even on inter-city roads, there is the risk of black ice, depending on how early in the morning it is and whether the city has had time to salt the roads. Always be wary when driving, and take extra precaution if you are driving on country or forest roads. If you are driving on these more unmaintained roads it is important to check your vehicle at the end of your trip as well, to ensure the integrity of your undercarriage is intact.
Provide People with Your Destination and ETA
It is always a smart safety tip to provide at least someone with your destination and ETA. That way, if you do get into an accident and are for one reason or another unable to call for help you have people expecting you. They can call and have a search party sent out.
Fix Any and All Issues ASAP
If you do spot an issue with your vehicle, you are going to want to fix that problem as soon as possible from refilling your antifreeze to dealing with a broken light. On winter roads reaction times are lower and so there are more natural dangers on the road, so you want your vehicle to be in tip-top condition. Don’t let the fact that it is new stop you from taking the necessary precautions.