The weather has been unseasonably cold for March, with it hitting records for being the coldest ever. Lots of places experienced storms and huge bouts of snow, meaning that drivers have had to have their wits about them in recent weeks. Driving through thick snow isn’t something that we need to think about usually at this time of year, but the thing about the weather is it can be unpredictable. With more snow forecast, it’s worth recapping a few tips for driving in these conditions and what you can do to minimise your risks.

Do Regular Vehicle Checks

When temperatures plummet and there’s snow on the ground, you already increase your chances of having an accident or breaking down. So it makes sense that you’d do some vehicle checks beforehand so you can avoid anything preventable. Checking things like oil levels, bulbs and the tread on tyres are all essential. If you do a lot of bad weather driving then it could be worth investing in winter or snow tyres. As a car accident attorney will tell you, if your car isn’t up to scratch you could be breaking the law and you also put your life and others at risk. So go around and do checks of your car, make sure everything is as it should be before you set out. Another thing to check is your fuel level, lots of people break down because of the simple mistake of misjudging their fuel levels. Always aim to have at least a quarter of a tank in.

Plan Your Journey

Planning your journey beforehand and leaving plenty of time is crucial when conditions are bad. When it’s snowy or icy and slippery, you don’t want to be going out of your way, getting lost or rushing around. Program your sat nav ahead of time (it’s illegal to touch it when you drive anyway) and give yourself extra time. People will be driving more slowly in bad weather and you may be blocked due to breakdowns and crashes. So factor this in. Speaking of planning journeys, in bad weather conditions such as snow, ice, fog, only travel by car if you absolutely have to. Could you walk instead of drive, or just wait until the weather has cleared? Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and you’ll need to drive your car, but where possible it’s better to wait out the worst of the weather if you can. Regardless of how careful you are, it’s still more risky than in normal conditions.

Buy Breakdown Cover

Car repairs can be incredibly expensive, but you can cushion the blow by investing in breakdown cover. In many cases, a breakdown assistant can fix your car at the side of the road meaning you avoid pricey car garage costs. But otherwise, they will tow your car to the garage or destination of your choice to be fixed. If you call out a breakdown company in emergency when the incident has already happened, it will cost you significantly more. Plan ahead, take out a policy and you’ll only pay a small amount each month which is peace of mind in case you ever need it.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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