Driving the 4 miles home tonight i passed 2 cars that had slid off the road and into the bank and just as i took a turn down a back road i could see another, now i know it sounds harsh but i didn't stop, i had Harvey in the car and have never driven in snow like that before, i would have been absolutely no use at all anyway and there were other cars driving up along the road that could have helped. Not only that but it took me 10 minutes just to get up my drive... I am not going out until it has all melted as i cant do that every time :)
Trying to get a 3 year old out of the car and into the house also proved difficult....
a quick snowball fight and finally getting to make the snow angel he had been on about for the WHOLE of last year with the promise of hot chocolate and whipped cream finally got him in :)
Here are some handy tips i have found for winter driving:
- Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car.
- Don't drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer. (This really bugs me seeing people driving around like this)
- Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Don't breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze.
- Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.
- Put safety before punctuality when the bad weather closes in. Allow extra time for winter journeys but be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay.
- Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving - stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow.
- Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving. Cumbersome, snow-covered boots will slip on the pedals.
- Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
- Up hill - avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of room to the car in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill.
- Down hill - reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front.
- If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids.
- If you get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you reach firmer ground. (A good set of floor mats work well)
- Don't reduce tyre pressures to get more grip – it doesn't work, and reduces stability.
Winter Emergency Kit:
- Blanket, rug or sleeping bag
- Bits of carpet or thick cardboard to place uner driven wheels to help regain traction on ice or snow
- Salt, snad or cat litter - to help clear snow and ice
- Reflective jackets
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch an batteries
- Tow Rope
- Snow chains (if you live in a remote or rural area)
- Battery jump leads
- Bottled water
- Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars
- Extra screen wash
I must admit that i am looking forward to taking Harvey out tomorrow to go sledging down the hill at the park and to build lots of snow men :) The only good things about snow are 1) Its a great cleaner for getting the green of plastic where water has sat for too long. Most importantly 2) The joy that it brings to children <3
Stay safe if you are on the roads or have lots of fun if you are staying at home :D