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Thursday Feb 22, 2024

UK winter road trips: The (fun) safe guide

We’re in an era where going abroad appears out of the question. Ultimately, some old favourites are starting to do the rounds again. It might be classic trips to the seaside or, as today’s title may have already given away, a road trip.

Road trips can be somewhat in the marmite category and some of you might already be poised to hit the back button. However, for those who fall into the other group, today’s guide is all about showing what you can do ahead of a winter driving holiday.

Suffice to say, the safety concerns in the cooler months are somewhat different to the stereotypical drive into the sunset. As such, take a read of the following to help you on your way.

Perform the standard pre-drive safety checks

If you were to abide by the classic driving test, this should be performed before each and every journey.

Practically speaking, most of us don’t, but before any winter road trip make sure you make sure everything is functioning properly. The basics include:

  • Do your tyres have the legal amount of tread?
  • Do you have enough fuel?
  • Are all lights working correctly?
  • Are the windshield wipers functioning and do you have enough fluid?
  • How is your oil level?

In truth, the list can go on, and might be slightly different for each model of car. Navigating through this basic checklist is essential for a safe, winter trip though.

The ultimate winter checklist

We’ve spoken about the classic driving checklist, but today is all about winter.

This is a completely different beast in comparison to any other month and if you are on the road, you need to take precautions against every scenario. Snow and ice are naturally the biggest threats and as such, make sure your boot contains a shovel, blankets, warning devices and ice scraper.

You should also look towards jumper cables and even non-perishable foods. Even if you are making a trip on one of the main roads, it has not been unheard of for drivers to be stuck for hours-on-end due to treacherous conditions.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

This tends to happen in the first few days of a trip. We’re big fans of doing things off the cuff, and ultimately throwing an itinerary out of the window. However, this should be done with safety at the forefront of your mind.

One of the worst things you can do is drive too long. The old motorway saying ‘tiredness can kill’ couldn’t be more apt and you need to ensure that breaks are regularly scheduled.

The best advice is to pinpoint a few hotels on your route, and book in along the way. You can even tie it into specific events; for example, if Edinburgh is on the way, take a look at this list.

The importance of keeping spare batteries

No, we’re not talking about the car battery – that might be a step too far. After all, you can’t arm your car with a replacement for each and every part.

However, replacement batteries for phones and other essential accessories are crucial. In truth, spare phone batteries are probably going to be the main thing here, although for those of you relying on any satellite navigation systems the same rules apply.

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