Even if this winter ends up being a mild one, preparing as if it’s going to be much worse is still a good idea for any driver. From de-icers to jump leads, here’s a checklist of important things to carry in your car, for safer driving in the worst winter weather:
Ice scrapers and de-icer
You should ensure that all of your windows and wing mirrors are cleared of snow and ice before you attempt to drive. Failure to remove snow or ice properly could result in you getting points on your licence and a fine.
Anti-freeze screen wash
The water you spray on your windscreen to clean it while driving can freeze, and even damage your wipers and water jets.
If you add some anti-freeze, it should help avoid this problem.
If you’re leaving work late at night and your car won’t start because the battery’s gone flat, jump leads could just be what you need.
You might also be able to help other drivers in similar situations.
A towing rope
A tow rope would come in handy if your car needed rescuing or if you needed to help a fellow motorist who’s in trouble.
Emergency warning triangle and hi-visibility clothing
If you do breakdown on the road, the Highway Code recommends placing an emergency warning triangle 45 metres behind your vehicle to warn other drivers.
Hi-vis clothing is also good to have; it should help you be seen more clearly in dark and wintery weather.
A good torch
Rummaging around in the dark looking for useful items such as breakdown service numbers, water and de-icers would be a whole lot easier with a torch.
It’ll also be useful if you need to check your surroundings and car if you get stranded.
Spare light bulbs
It’s a good idea to keep a few spare headlight, sidelight and indicator bulbs inside your car in case they need replacing. You should make sure you know how to change them too!
It’s a good idea to keep an in-car charger in your vehicle or carry a portable charger because breaking down is stressful enough without adding the lack of a phone to call for help.
Warm clothing and good boots
Keeping warm clothing and blankets in your car could prove very useful if you found yourself having a long wait with no heat in the unfortunate event of breaking down.
Boots which grip in all conditions are useful if you happen to get trapped in the snow. You might need to clear slow from under tyres to help them grip, or, indeed, to abandon your car altogether and walk to safety!