With respect to general driving conditions; January and February are traditionally the most hazardous months of the year. The unpredictable British winter can chuck some genuinely horrendous variants of weather down onto our over congested roads; sub-zero temperature, floods, snow, high winds. It’s important to be prepared when we take our VWs out onto the roads be it for a quick errand to the shops or for destinations much further afield.
At Servicing Stop, we’re well aware of the potential dangers of driving at this time of year, and we’ve compiled a brief list of just to bear in mind for when you take to the roads. Yes, some of these might sound blindingly obvious, but it’s important not to become complacent when driving at this time of year.
- Dress correctly. A lot of us wear ‘comfy’ driving attire, and as snug as it might make us feel, it may not be the most winter friendly. Functionality should surpass comfort at this time of year; you don’t want to find yourself stranded on the side of the motorway in your slippers.
- Book a service. A poorly maintained vehicle is more likely to let you down during inclement weather due to the extra demands placed on the battery. If you think you’re around the time of your service – just get it booked in. Waiting around in the damp and cold for assistance is not fun at the best of times.
- Check the forecast. The UK weather has the annoying tendency to change in the blink of an eye and at this time of year that means snow, sleet, rain, wind, ice, you name it. Check what the conditions have in store before you head out. Make sure you know your route, and if you’re going on a longer journey, let someone know your plans and your estimated time of arrival.
- Pack an emergency kit. It’s a good idea to have one of these stashed in the boot or back seat. Warm clothes, winter footwear, a towrope, snacks, water and a fully charged mobile phone may prove invaluable either for you, or if you have to help other drivers.
- Be alert. Sort of falls into the same category as the weather one this, but strong gusts of wind can hit you – or other drivers around you – just after pulling clear of high sided vehicles or buildings. Anticipate these and adjust your driving accordingly if you’re driving when it’s windy. Be particularly aware when crossing bridges over expanses of water where wind speed can significantly pick up.
- Speed. Watch your speed – especially if it is windy – as will influence the way your vehicle handles. The faster you’re travelling, the more difficult it becomes to maintain control if you hit ice or standing water. A few extra minutes on your journey is a small price to pay for getting to your destination safe and sound.