Snow Driving Tips

Following the heaviest snowfall in 18 years, and with more to come, Europcar, the UK's leading vehicle rental company is urging travellers to pay attention to winter motoring advice.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director of Europcar says "The fact is, we're just not used to dealing with this kind of weather so the best advice is to stay put. But those that really have to travel should ensure they have everything they need in case of an emergency breakdown and heed some of our tips for a safer journey."

  • Allow plenty of time for journeys and make sure you have a full tank of petrol before starting off - just in case you need to take a more circuitous route
  • If it’s before 8am or after 3.30pm before starting the engine and moving off, make sure your eyes have become accustomed to the dark
  • Make sure all the windows are clear of snow, properly de-iced and de-misted before you set out
  • Remember your sunglasses to avoid glare from the low winter sun
  • Be aware of black ice - most commonly found in areas that are shadowed from sun
  • Twilight is a particularly hazardous time for driving, so take extra care
  • Don’t hit the brakes if your car starts to skid, ease back on the accelerator and try to steer the car in the direction of the skid
  • If you get stuck, clear snow from around the wheels to give the car a chance to grip on the road. Try using a bit of old carpet to give better traction
  • Watch out for fog and use fog lights, but remember to switch them off again when they are no longer needed
  • Allow for a greater braking distance
  • Watch your speed and remember that cyclists and pedestrians will be less visible
  • Be prepared to cancel a journey. Listen out for weather warnings and act appropriately
  • Don't be afraid to turn back - if things start to look dicey, a trip can most likely be postponed
  • Be aware of the danger of getting stranded - especially if you are heading somewhere remote. Take warm clothing and consider stopping at a hotel for the night rather than pressing on
  • If your own vehicle is struggling with the weather, consider hiring a car instead. This will ensure the car is fully maintained, safe, reliable and covered by 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Ensure the windscreen washer is topped up
  • Always keep a bottle of water and food, such as chocolate just in case you breakdown.
2 February 2009 Staff

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