Pro Installer December 2019 - Issue 81 - Page 39

DECEMBER 2019 | 39 Motoring Read online at DRIVERS WARNED TO PREPARE VEHICLES FOR WINTER British drivers have been urged to get their vehicles ready for winter or face uncomfortable – and even dangerous – journeys in the cold. Motoring experts from have released seven guidelines for UK car and van drivers to winter-proof their vehicles, inside and out. Driving on British roads from November onwards can be rough but doing a little extra preparation and having useful items to hand will make trav- elling during the winter more pleasant. A reassured, comfortable and focussed motorist will drive bet- ter and safer; a prepared driver owner won’t need to panic in the event of bad weather. Tim Alcock from LeaseVan. said: “In the run up to Christmas, it’s easy to get dis- tracted and forget to prepare your vehicle for winter driving – but doing so means you’ll face uncomfortable, miserable and potentially dangerous journeys. “We’ve put together some advice that any driver can use to avoid discomfort and distraction when driving in bad weather.” 1. Good wheels: Ensure there is sufficient grip on every tyre to see the vehicle through winter journeys on slip- pery roads and have accessible wheel chains if travelling through the snow is necessary. 2. Tools: It’s recommended that driv- ers keep a snow shovel in their vehicle in case the car or van gets stuck. A pair of sturdy walking boots is also a good idea, if shel- ter must be sought on foot. 3. Maintenance: 5. Keep fuelled: Extra care needs to be taken over the condition of vehicles during the winter months, so motorists should regularly check safety essentials like brakes and windscreen wipers. It’s even more vital to keep on top of filling up with petrol or diesel in the winter, to avoid being left stranded in the cold – so aim to always have a quarter of the tank full. Keeping yourself fuelled is equally as important and precautions should be taken in case of delays of breakdowns; keep a bottle of water in the car or van, hide an energy-filled snack such as a chocolate bar in the glovebox for emergencies, and on long journeys take a flask. ‘ better and safer ’ 4. Clear vision: Leaving a vehicle parked any- where during the winter months is an open invitation for a frozen windscreen, so make sure you have a can of de-icer to hand as well as a suitable scraper. It’s also a good idea to pack a cloth or old rag to wipe the glass from the inside, as having the heater on full blast will lead to conden- sation when the warmth meets the cold air from outside. 6. Warm clothes: All drivers could be vul- nerable to forgetfulness on a cold morning, so prepare for the worst weather by making sure there are gloves, a scarf, a hat and a thick pair of socks tucked away in your vehicle. Should the heating or vehicle itself break down, it is also ad- visable to have a spare jumper, thermal blanket or chemical heat packs in the boot. 7. Accessories: The best prepared British motorists will have their vehi- cle well stocked with useful items to see them through the winter. A full portable phone charger is a glovebox essential in case of breakdown, an old-fash- ioned paper map is always an advisable back up to a sat-nav and a packet of tissues is a must to avoid distraction on the roads.