Driving in the snow can feel a daunting prospect, with tricky road conditions and the likelihood of more frequent breakdowns combining to present challenging circumstances.

That’s why Footman James, the classic vehicle insurance specialist, is offering some simple advice to drivers that will help them to prepare in advance and make their experience on the roads a smoother affair.

  • Give yourself extra time if you’re travelling following a period of poor weather. 10 minutes will give you the chance to carry out tasks such as de-icing your windscreen, to ensure your vehicle is adequately prepared.
  • If you can, plan a route that will stick to the major roads or bus routes. These are the areas that are most likely to have been gritted and cleared, so will subsequently be safer to use.
  • When you’re braking, try to avoid locking the wheels; similarly, avoid spinning them when accelerating. Instead, stick to gentle manoeuvres. It’s also important to remember that stopping distances can be as much as 10 times longer when you’re braking in these conditions.
  • Avoid wearing wet shoes when you’re driving – these will not only be uncomfortable but could also slip off the pedals.
  • Be sure to clear any snow off of your vehicle’s roof. Otherwise, when you’re driving, it could end up sliding down, which could obstruct your windscreen or rear windows. Having snow on the roof of your vehicle could also lead to three points on your licence, as well as a fine of £60, as the snow could prove hazardous for other drivers should it drop off.
  • Make sure all bulbs are working, with the lenses clean.
  • Before you consider driving in poor weather conditions, ensure any vehicle repairs or maintenance that could need doing has been carried out.
  • Make sure you have windscreen washer fluid – but don’t use tap water to top up. Screen wash helps to reduce the chance of it freezing which can be another factor that blocks vision when driving.
  • Make sure your tyres are not over-inflated or under-inflated.
  • Ensure you have the necessary breakdown and accident phone numbers before setting off, in case anything unexpected occurs.

Footman James’ Managing Director, David Bond, said: “These simple steps can help ensure that you stay safe not only driving through winter, but through unexpected bouts of bad weather. Knowing what to check and how to address issues before you set off and whilst driving in such conditions can make all the difference to your safety and that of other road users.”

There are plenty of tasks to tackle yourself that will help to keep your tourer in tip-top condition throughout the year – you can find out more in our guide to caravan servicing: DIY tasks. Alternatively, check out our guides on the best caravan cleaners and the best caravan covers, to ensure your caravan is stored safely during the off-season.

If you find yourself looking for the best tow car or the best caravan, our roundups will help you pick out the vehicles for you. Our best caravan manufacturers guide talks you through all of the various brands out there, while you can also head to our caravan reviews and tow car reviews section for impartial advice on the latest releases.

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