Winter Is Coming… To The Roads
We accept that us Brits aren't very good at being happy with the weather, but we also like the idea of a winter snowfall.
During this time, there are obvious risks on the road, so here's some practical advice for when you have to venture out into the ice cold weather.
The Trick Is In The Tyres
Winter tyres can be a very good idea and are a legal requirement in Germany. There are so called 'tyre hotels'
, that you can use. A tyre hotel offers you a place to store your tyres when they're 'out of season'.
So in winter, a company will look after your summer tyres, and vice versa.
Don't be tempted to go 'half and half' with winter and summer tyres, this is incredibly dangerous due to the differing grip on each type. If you cannot afford winter tyres, ensure your standard tyres are properly inflated and that you have sufficient tread on your tyres. Most manufacturers recommend replacing tyres when they reach 3mm of tread
. Obviously in the winter, the more tread the better.
Sometimes chains can be appropriate to use on your car, and can be cheaper. Only consider using snow chains where the road surface is covered in a layer of compacted snow or ice. This is because chains can damage the road and the vehicle if there isn't snow and ice beneath the wheels.
For most of us, a few inches of snow is all we have to deal with.
Bonus – Quick, Easy Wins
- Don't forget to top up your screenwash with antifreeze additive, or buy one with it added already.
- Don't forget an ice scraper and use a de-icer. An old credit card can be useful if you can't find your scraper.
- If the worst happens, you'll be thankful if you have a blanket in the back, a torch, sand, a spade, and a first aid kit handy.
- Whether you own a pet or not, cat litter can act as grit in an emergency.
- Sweep any snow off the car roof before driving, braking hard could cause it to slide onto the windscreen.
- You may need to leave as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front, depending on weather and road conditions.
If you're in any doubt, stay off the roads, especially if it’s a non-urgent trip – In 2012, 38
were killed, 544
seriously injured, and 4,584
slightly injured in reported road accidents
alone in the UK when there was snow or ice on the road.
Report An Area For Gritting Now Via Street Repairs
If you know of a particular trouble area in need of gritting you can report it directly to Street Repairs
using the simple map here:Report an area for gritting