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UK Set For Snow Get Ready For Winter Driving

Winter Driving

The Met Office has issued Yellow weather warnings for large parts of the UK Warning of High Winds, Snow and Ice for Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th Dec 2017.

Between 00:05 Fri 8th and 18:00 Sat 9th

During Friday, increasingly frequent snow showers already affecting parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England will extend across many other northern and western parts of the UK. 2-5 cm of snow is likely in places over the warning area. 10-20 cm is possible for some locations, mainly in northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and perhaps the northwest Midlands. Icy surfaces are also likely to be an additional hazard, especially overnight. The heaviest and most frequent snow showers will progressively become confined to northeast Scotland during Saturday. Possible travel delays on roads

Between 00:05 Fri 8th and 18:00 Sat 9th

During Friday, increasingly frequent snow showers already affecting parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England will extend across many other northern and western parts of the UK. 2-5 cm of snow is likely in places over the warning area. 10-20 cm is possible for some locations, mainly in northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and perhaps the northwest Midlands. Icy surfaces are also likely to be an additional hazard, especially overnight. The heaviest and most frequent snow showers will progressively become confined to northeast Scotland during Saturday. Possible travel delays on roads

Between 04:00 Sun 10th and 23:55 Sun 10th

A spell of heavy snow is possible over some central parts of the UK during Sunday. This could lead to road, rail and air travel delays, with the potential for vehicles to become stranded or public transport to be cancelled. Rural communities with limited access routes could become cut off.

For Further detail check out the Met Office on metoffice.gov.uk



Get Prepared For Winter Driving.

To help you get set for winter driving we have a range of products listed in our shop to keep you on the road this winter. We have a special section for Winter Essentials featuring De-Icer multi packs, Tyre Grips and winter driving packs. All you really need is a blanket and a flask containing a Hot drink if it really gets bad.

Our Top Tips For Winter Driving

  • Keep Two set of de-icer, one in the car for after work, and one IN YOUR HOUSE to use before leaving home.  Leaving it in your house will make the liquid warmer and more effective, especially in aerosol cans.
  • DON'T be tempted to leave your car unattended while it "warms up" Leaving the keys in the ignition will almost certainly invalidate your insurance should your vehicle be stolen and it is also illegal to leave the engine running while parked apparently.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Plan your trips, know where you can stop to get snacks and keep warm if needed.
  • Get yourself a Windscreen cover, they take 2 mins to apply and 10 second to remove and will save your pounds on de-icer.
  • Park your car facing east if you can, the early morning sun will help defrost the front screen.
  • Take the time you need to get to your destination safely. Don’t speed.
  • Be aware that snow and ice changes by the minute, which in turn changes available traction. At any given spot, traction also changes with each car that passes by. Don’t base your braking or turning decisions on other cars.
  •  Look as far down the road as you can. Always know where you want to go. You need to be able to see a situation so that you can respond.
  • Know how to use your anti-lock brakes (ABS), which prevent you from effectively turning your tyres into skis and skidding them along the road. A rolling tyre has more grip than sliding tyre. ABS prevents a slam on the brakes from locking up the wheels and causing a skid. The system forces the wheels to shudder forward and find traction. It’s okay to hit anti-lock brakes hard for maximum power. The tyres won’t lock, your car’s computer will manage the hydraulic pressure and bring your car to safe smooth stop. If you squeeze the pedal lightly, you won’t, so tap your car’s maximum slowing power.
  • Stability control (often called ESP) works in conjunction with ABS. All passenger-carrying vehicles are now required to have this feature, which selectively applies braking pressure to one side or the other when your car is skidding sideways to keep the vehicle as straight as possible.
  • When you need to stop, brake early and give yourself the luxury of easing off your brakes at the end of your stop. So Keep you Distance.
  • Tyres do their best job when they only have to do one thing at a time. Brake first, then turn; don’t try to do both at once. Otherwise, you are dividing the available grip between two different tasks.
  • An understeer skid—when you turn your wheel but the car doesn’t respond—happens when you’re going too fast. Look where you want to go. Back off the steering, and let your tyres find traction. Do not brake, otherwise you are asking your tyres to do two tasks.
  • In an oversteer skid, when the car turns more than you expect, don’t apply your brakes. Look in direction that you want to go, steer the car there and use a little throttle or no throttle.
  • Black ice often occurs on untreated roads. The road will have a sheen, and the noise of the car on the road will become quieter. Turn the stereo off, stop talking on the phone, tell your passengers to hush, and focus on what you’re doing. Do not wiggle the steering wheel or tap the brakes to see if you are on ice. To slow your vehicle, smoothly ease off the throttle and progressively apply the brakes. Make turns as gently as possible. Keep your head up, look up, and point the vehicle where you want it to go.
  • The only time that momentum is your friend is on a hill. Maintain speed going up a hill, and avoid the polished ruts where others have driven before you. Drive in the snow if it’s an option. Snow always has more traction than ice.  If you have a front wheel drive car and have to drive UPHILL to get off your housing estate, try reversing up the hill! yes it sounds made but it works. You may need to turn traction control / ESP OFF to get you moving up a hill, just make sure you turn it on again.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze only costs a few quid, but a frozen and cracked engine costs hundreds or thousands to repair. You need a strong 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water for the winter – this protects your engine down to -34C. Most modern cars use long-life antifreeze. Make sure you use the right type. Some types of antifreeze need changing after only two years. Check your service schedule. Always best to seek advise from a professional as mixing different types of anti freeze can cause a reaction that turns it to gunk.

Tyres

  • The AA recommend at least 3mm of tread for the winter. If the temperature is regularly near freezing, consider winter tyres, they grip better and in reality wont cost you much more as your summer tyres will be off the car and last longer if stored correctly.
  • Don't be temped to let air out of your tyres to get more grip – it doesn't work, and it’s unsafe.
  • Only use snow chains if there’s enough snow to prevent damage to the road and to the chains.

Snow and Ice

Take it slow – with stopping distances 10 times longer, gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving in ice and snow.

  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving. Put some warm boots in the car too.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
  • Uphill – leave plenty of room or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
  • Downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can to the car in front.
  • If you have to use your brakes, apply them gently.
  • If you drive an Automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.
  • If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip.

Before you set off

  • Allow extra time for winter journeys.
  • Try to get up at least 10 minutes early, to give you time to de-ice the car.
  • Check fuel levels – keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
  • Don't drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen.
  • Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer.
  • Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock.
  • Plan routes to favour major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted.