Get your vehicle ready for winter!

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We have had ice on our roads and snow has been pretty close to us already this year.

chester gritting

In these conditions it is even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced:

A few simple, common sense reminders

There is nothing new in the following but its a good check list to stay safe

winter car care

  • Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow.
  • Keep your battery fully charged
  • Adjust your driving to the conditions
  • Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed
  • Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
  • Be aware that hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility
  • Add winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles
  • Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure
  • Pack a snow/ice scraper, de-icer, snow shovel, hat, gloves, boots, a torch, bottle of water and a first aid kit. For longer journeys, you should take blankets, a snack and a flask of warm drink.
  • Wash the car frequently to get rid of the salt and dirt that builds up over the winter.
  • Always keep a full tank of fuel — you never know when you might get delayed.
  • Don't use water to defrost the windows.

Before setting off driving during bad weather

  • Listen to local and national radio for travel information and weather updates (also the Met Office)
  • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
  • Refer to the Highways Agency for advice on traffic disruption on the roads in Cheshire.
  • Keep your mobile fully charged.

Simple Driving tips during bad weather

  • Slow down
  • Keep a greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, (increase the 2 second rule to 4 seconds or even more)
  • Set aside extra time to complete your journey
  • On colder days be particularly careful on tree lined roads — the trees prevent the sun's warmth from reaching the road, which may still be icy when all around has thawed.
  • The sun can be a severe hazard during the winter months as it is low in the sky, the glare off wet roads can increase this hazard.

 

When roads are icy or slushy

icy roads

  • During the winter months we often have sub-zero temperatures, which means frost and icy patches on our roads.
  • It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road.
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
  • Drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop
  • Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration
  • To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
  • If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly

 

If the worst happens and you get into trouble

Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call. On a motorway it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the breakdown/emergency services will be able to locate you easily.
If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder.
Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs. To ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you.