Welcome to winter, it’s the time of year when we have to travel whatever the weather throws at us. We may be travelling less this year but lets make sure that you get to where you’re going in the safest way possible. So we’re here to cover the basics; don’t fall over on your drive with the help of a great big salt stick, then ensure you clean your windscreen properly and finally, inform you on where the most dangerous places to drive.
Your drive can be a very dangerous place in the winter, so the great news is Halfords have a product to solve this issue! This one-metre long snow salt stick can rapidly thaw ice and melt snow ahead of the freezing weather. This Winter Wizard Salt Stick costs £3.50 and can cover 60 square metres. It works like a shake ‘n’ vac and home-owners and motorists just need to shake their stick and the salt can be spread over your steps, driveway, path and around your car park at work. Halfords found that 48% have avoided driving because of the weather and 52% of motorists cited ice as one of the reasons that they put off travelling. This stick is a good first stage to get you outside but now you have to clean the screen on your vehicle to be safe and sensible.
Plan Ahead The Night Before
Sounds obvious, but if you can park your vehicle under cover, in a garage, or at the very least put a blanket or plastic sheet over the windows, then it can prevent ice and snow appearing on your windscreen. You can ensure you won’t have the hassle of scraping at ice and snow.
If you haven’t taken these precautions and still find you need to scrape ice off your car then make sure you are prepared to do so. Make sure you have a decent plastic scraper, not a credit card, and some de-icer. There is also a product called pre-icer which you spray on the night before, and has proven to be very effective.
Bonus Content! James Explains...
Need some extra tips? Award winning journalist James Ruppert talks us through his favourite ways to de-ice your car this winter.
Be cautious about the various ‘Life Hacks’, that say a diy hot water bottle by pouring warm water in a self-seal plastic bag is the best solution. This certainly works, but will turn the water instantly into ice again if the temperature is below freezing. The secret is to get the water off the screen as soon as possible with the windscreen wipers and put the heating on directed to the screen. When the engine is running it’s important to always stay with the car, don’t be tempted to pop inside for a cup of tea, as you might find your car isn’t there when you return.
The journey you might imagine could be fairly perilous at this time of year. Well, Holts Auto looked into when and where the most accidents happen on UK roads. They found there were 122,635 road accidents last year in the UK and 20% of all road accidents are serious or fatal. Birmingham is where most road accidents occur, followed by Leeds, then Westminster. You might be surprised to learn that most road accidents occur on 30mph roads in clear, good weather conditions. Maybe not as surprising is that Friday between 5-6pm is when motorists are most likely to have an accident on the roads. Best then to leave early, rather than late.
So if you are travelling for Christmas during the 5 days of looser restrictions make sure your car is prepared.