Drive Safe - top tips to tackle extreme weather

winter car check

When the weather grows colder, the days grow darker and the numbers of breakdowns increase. It doesn't matter if you're planning a long journey or just nipping to the shops; winter weather can be unpredictable - so don't let it catch you by surprise.

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The best way to fight winter weather is to be prepared. Here are our top tips on getting your car through the winter months in one piece:

Assess the condition of your tyres to see if they have adequate tread and pressure, and consider investing in chains, snow socks or winter tyres for greater grip and control.

Wiper blades
When the snow is falling, or the rain really starts to hammer against your windscreen, sometimes your trusty windscreen wipers are the only things that stand between you and an accident. Check your wipers to make sure they don’t need replacing.

Windscreen washer fluid
Top up your windscreen washer fluid and mix in a suitable additive to reduce the chance of freezing - note that ordinary engine antifreeze may cause damage to your paintwork. Also make sure that your windscreen is clear of any dirt, stickers or snow. If your vision is obscured it is dangerous and could result in a hefty fine.

Not only are working lights essential for your visibility, they're also vital for other drivers who need to see you coming. Make sure all your lights are working (including brake lights), and ensure the lenses are clean.

Plan your journey
To ensure you’re well prepared for winter driving, plan and know your route well ahead of leaving for your destination.

Pack essential items
Taking time to pack some everyday items can make life a whole lot easier should you become stuck at the road-side. A shovel, torch, windscreen scraper, piece of carpet (to get your tyres out of snow), warm clothing and a fully-charged mobile phone can be invaluable.

If blizzards or flooding hit when you're on the road, we advise you select a higher gear, take smooth actions and break gently. Keep plenty of distance between you and other cars and don't touch the clutch unless it's absolutely necessary. Be extra wary of black ice, and if you do get into a skid, never break.

Finally, even if after all these prevention methods you still find yourself stranded in the snow or floods, stay calm. Keep Green Flag contact details to hand, give us a call and we'll get you and your vehicle back on the road. And, unlike the AA or RAC, we won't charge you extra for specialist breakdown equipment in extreme weather conditions.

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