New Sunday opening hours - 9.30am to 1pm
Call Us Now On 01942 825 857

The Essential Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips to Help You Stay Safe

Like it or not, it’s time to switch to winter driving. It’s all gone a bit cold. And wet. And windy and icy and dark. And horrible.

Winter is officially here and that means driving has just got a bit tricky. If you haven’t seen the effects yet, you will soon – there’ll be more traffic, more accidents and less calm on the roads. And that’s before we even get onto what happens when the snow starts to fall. If you’ve taken out car or Van Hire, you’ll b adjusting to a different vehicle as well as changing conditions, so be extra cautious!

But if you keep a few things in mind, you can avoid the most common winter driving problems that crop up at this time of year.

 

Winter Driving – Before You Set Off 

It sounds simple, but for winter driving, there’s one big thing you need to do before anything else. And that’s get some kip.

You can’t be tired if you’re driving in bad conditions. You need to react quickly to anything that might happen when the road surface is wet or icy, and you have slower reaction times when you’re tired. So get that good night’s sleep.

You need to keep your car in top order, too. Check your tyres are properly inflated, your battery is fully charged and your petrol tank is at least half full (to avoid your lines freezing up and to make sure you don’t get caught short in any wintery jams). Make sure you’ve packed your boot with the essentials, including antifreeze, blankets, gloves, hat, water and food. It doesn’t have to be a three course meal back there, but just something that would keep you going in an emergency.

Keep an eye on your mobile phone battery as well. You don’t need to watch that YouTube video of a dog on a skateboard for the hundredth time – you need to be able to get in touch with people, and for them to get in touch with you, no matter what happens.

And dress for the occasion. Bang on a load of layers and you’ll be able to take them off one at a time once you start warming up.

 

On the Road

Once you’re driving, it’s all about being sensible.

Look as far ahead of you as you can – don’t just be happy with knowing what the car in front of you is doing. Look beyond them and take in as much as possible at all times, from what’s happening on the road to any pedestrians on the pavement, to what the road signs are saying, to whatever terrain is coming up. Preparation is everything in bad weather, so the more you see and the longer you see it for, the more time you have to assess everything and decide what to do. Sometimes visibility will be poor, so when that happens just reduce your speed and be more cautious, so you have the maximum time to react.

Always try to drive as smoothly as possible. You want to be in complete control of your vehicle with movements that are nice and fluid, so no sudden braking, jerky steering or rally style gear changes. And speaking of braking in bad weather, use your pedal brake when you’re at a standstill instead of your parking brake, because it’s much more effective.

You should actually be using your pedal brake a lot in wintery conditions. When you’re not applying a gentle foot to the gas pedal, you should be gently slowing your speed in anticipation of bad traffic or weather, or a set of lights. And no coasting – always be in gear and always be switched on, with your seatbelt on too.

 

It Might Be a White Christmas

Driving in bad weather is bad enough, but driving in snow is worse.

You’ve got to be even smarter. Accelerate slower and take even more care on corners. Before you get in your car, check there’s no snow blocking up your exhaust. And let someone know where you’re going, when you should be getting there and the route you’ll be taking – a precaution that might seem OTT, but could be a literal lifesaver.

We should all be driving at a distance of about three or four seconds from the car in front, in regular conditions. But when it gets really bad, especially when it’s snowing, you need to stretch that out to about ten seconds. You need plenty of time to react to whatever might happen, and enough time for your car to play ball in the sludge. Remember – you might be a great driver, but the person in front might not be.

Yet while you should be slowing down as often as possible, you want to avoid coming to a complete stop in the snow. It takes much more to get a stationary can or van going than one that’s slowly rolling, because that tiny bit of momentum can make all the difference. And whatever you do, don’t stop on an upwards hill! Make sure you’ve got some momentum going before you get on the hill, then you can just chug up it at a steady pace. If you come to a dead stop and try to start again, you might end up with your wheels spinning and you’ll find yourself going nowhere fast. Once you’re over the top, take it as slow as you can while you go down the other side.

If the worst case scenario happens and your car breaks down in the snow, don’t panic and go out walking in it. Stay inside and phone for help, and tie some coloured cloth to your antenna so anybody driving by can see you.

 

Stick the Kettle On

You could say a lot of this is common sense.

But it’s all too easy to switch off. Especially when you’ve been driving for years – every journey can end up feeling like your standard overcast summer’s day jolly. In winter conditions, you have to always be thinking, always be mindful of who’s on the road with you and always be respectful of the elements. Because it’s plain dangerous if you aren’t.

And in most cases, you’re driving because you have to. Because it’s your job or because there’s just no alternative for whatever’s going on. But when you can, when it’s possible, stay at home. Put your feet up, stick the telly on and be happy, knowing that you’re out the cold and in your comfort zone. Which is always the best place to be.


Back To News

Our Partners

Blackhorse Finance
United Rental System
BVRLA
Flex It 28
Offical Supplier and Official Sponsor of Wigan Athletic

What's Going On at Westwood

Testimonials


Superb team of staff customer service and a personal service is evident at the heart of their operation

Courtnay Mattis @ 07/08/2019 14:56

Brilliant service, excellent vehicle and friendly staff. Thank you.

David Mason @ 04/08/2019 11:50

Excellent van hire. Easy pick up. Van was 19 plate immaculate and had all the bells and whistles. Excellent experience all round will use again.

Andy Houghton @ 04/08/2019 8:54

Great service 5 star rating Always do and deliver what they say Been using this firm for over 3 years now All the staff make u feel like a friend more then a customer highly recommend Westwood motor group
Matthew Steve @ 23/07/2019 14:18

I needed to hire a car for a week and remembered the excellent service I had from Westwood a couple of years ago when I hired a van from them to move house. The only thing that’s changed since then is the service is even better. From my initial phone call to dropping the vehicle off the service was smooth, professional and warmly helpful.

I would recommend Westwood to anyone looking to rent a van or car. Great service at a very competitive price all done with a smile. I’ve followed my advice and booked a car for a future trip.

Tom Hughes @ 07/07/2019 18:42

Very helpful and do go out the way to sort you the best deals

Hayden Smith @ 02/07/2019 12:42

Needed a van for one day to move furniture and a run to the tip; got swift professional service, and a fully specced van with all convenience features, and cheaper than any local rival. Highly recommended by this happy customer. Will use again.

James L Turner @ 26/06/2019 9:00

Amazing service with the teams here , especially Emma . Defo 5 star company on all levels

Emma Parkinson @ 25/06/2019 20:12

I am so impressed with the car and the customer service from Kai Khamnonchan was amazing. She was able to deliver the vehicle to me and she was extremely helpful and professional in sorting the right car for my needs at a great price. I would throughly recommend Westwood motor group and Kai to all my friends and colleagues and happily give them a #5star review ⭐️👏

Waraporn Simpson @ 19/06/2019 19:35

Bethan and Laura was very helpful got me in my van same day would highly recommend and use again thank you for all your help

David Sivori @ 19/06/2019 16:45

Twitter


Facebook


Used Vans Wigan

Looking for used vans in Wigan? Your next used van is available now for Westwood Motor Group (Westwood Vans Wigan) number One for used vans Wigan. We sell used Mercedes vans, used Vauxhall vans, used Renault vans and used Ford vans. At Westwood Vans Wigan you will find vans to suit all your requirements...


Vans For Sale Wigan

Used Vans are available for sale now from Westwood Vans Wigan, the first choice for anyone looking for vans for sale in Wigan. You’ll find great deals on used Transit vans, used Caddy or Sprinter Vans, used Vivaro vans, or used Trafic and Master vans for sale in Wigan, so make Westwood Wigan Vans your first choice.


Second Hans Vans For Sale

Westwood Vans is a used van dealer in Wigan which offers the ultimate in choice of second hand vans for sale in Wigan. With a huge variety of over 100 used vans to choose from Westwood Motor Group (Westwood Vans Wigan) is the number one name locally for second hand vans for sale in Wigan.


Van Contract Hire and Business Leasing In Wigan

Westwood Vans specialise in van contract hire and leasing in Wigan. You can choose from a wide range of premier brand vans available on business finance (contract hire or business lease). We can supply any make or model including Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall vans as well as finance new or used vans for sale in Wigan.


Van Rental and Car Hire In Wigan

In addition to Van Sales, Westwood specialise in Van Rental and Car Hire in Wigan. Westwood is known locally as the name to trust for the bset deal on van rental and car hire in Wigan. Westwood Motor Group are renowned amongst local business and private customers as the first choice vehicle rental and hire specialists because of the high levels of customer service, attractive rental rates offered to customers and choice of vans and cars available for rental in Wigan.

If you need to know more about Westwood Vans Wigan or to contact us please click or call 01942 825 857 for more details.


Read More/ Less