Ready for Winter?

With festivities on everyone’s minds and possible cold snaps around the corner, motorists are being urged to ‘make time for winter’ to avoid problems and to stay safe during winter weather.

Osborne are helping the Highways Agency to spread the message to drivers to be prepared for their journeys.

Here are some things to think about:

Be prepared: is your vehicle ready for winter? Breaking down is never a pleasant experience – especially if you have to wait for recovery in the cold. You’ll also want your vehicle to be in the best condition to handle difficult driving conditions in severe weather.

This handy reminder for pre-journey checks is called the ‘POWDERY’ checklist:

• Petrol (or diesel) – don’t run out of fuel.

• Oil – check levels once a month.

• Water – check radiator and screenwash once a month.

• Damage – check wipers, lights etc for signs of wear and tear or damage.

• Electrics – check lights, indicators and controls are working properly.

• Rubber – are your tyres well inflated, legal, with good tread and free from damage?

• Yourself – are you fit to drive? – have you slept well? – are you taking any medication(s) that could make it unsafe for you to drive? Carry an emergency kit.

Keep these items in your vehicle from the start of winter, you never know when you might need them. These include:

• Ice scraper and de-icer.

• Torch and spare batteries – or a wind-up torch.

• Warm clothes and blankets – for you and all passengers

• Boots

• First aid kit

• Jump leads

• Shovel

• Road atlas

• Sunglasses (the low winter sun and glare off snow can be dazzling)

Keep these items in your vehicle from the start of winter. Be informed: check the latest traffic and weather Before you set off In severe and wintry weather it’s even more important to plan your journey.

The Highways Agency provides the latest traffic situation for England’s motorways and major A roads. Road and weather conditions may change; drive with care when you’re on the road; pay attention to the changing road; traffic and weather conditions. Be ready to slow down and take more care if you need to, particularly on bends and exposed roads. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, even if you drive every day on the same stretch of road. Additional information and advice on driving in adverse weather conditions is available in The Highway Code.

Keep listening to the radio for traffic and weather updates. On motorways, look out for overhead message signs where the Highways Agency will flash up important travel bulletins and information, including warnings of delays and advising of alternative routes. On long journeys, take a break at regular intervals; this is also an ideal time to check the traffic conditions on the road ahead.