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Armed Forces Covenant

Cold Weather Driving

In heavy snow and severe cold weather the best advice is to avoid travelling if at all possible. For further comprehensive information on winter driving please click the following link If you have to travel, the following tips should help you to reach your destination safely.

Before travelling check your vehicle

  • Get your vehicle serviced. That way you know it won't let you down even if the weather does.
  • Keep the cold out of your vehicle by checking and replacing the anti-freeze in the radiator.
  • Most batteries last between two and four years. Make sure yours is fully charged and replace it if you're not sure it's reliable.
  • Lights can get filthy with all the spray in winter. Keep them clean and check the bulbs regularly so you'll be prepared for lower visibility and shorter days.
  • Getting a better grip on the road takes more tyre tread in wet or icy conditions. Ensure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturers' recommended pressure and have at least 3mm of tread depth.
  • Make sure your wiper blades aren't worn so you can keep your windscreen as clean as possible for the extra spray, ice and rain you get in winter.
  • Dirty windows and mirrors can make it hard to see as the low winter sun hits. Make sure you keep them clean and free of ice and snow in colder weather. And it goes without saying that your windows are clear and de-misted before you set off!
  • Finally, don't forget to take a map with your for any unplanned diversions.

Take an emergency kit in the boot

Even if the weather doesn't seem that bad when you leave home, conditions can deteriorate quickly during the course of your journey.

Here's what we recommend you put in the emergency kit:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch
  • Warm clothes and a blanket
  • A pair of boots
  • First-aid kit
  • Battery jump leads
  • A shovel if it's likely to snow
  • Food and a warm drink in a flask for particularly cold weather

Take a pair of sunglasses in the glove box to protect from the glare from the low winter sun.

Change the way you drive:

  • Make sure you slow down and keep well back from the vehicle in front of you. A lot of collisions in bad weather are caused by people not braking in time when the roads conditions are wet or slippery.
  • When roads are slippery it can take up to 10 times longer to stop. So, drop your speed, and give yourself more time to slow down and stop.
  • Drive with care even if roads have been treated.

Make sure you have made provision for your pets and any livestock.

Try to use gritted / treated roads when possible

For information on which roads have been treated in and around the city of Derby you can use the Derby City Council interactive gritting map that shows the gritting being carried in the region.

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