Winter motoring

Posted on: 16 December 2015 by Gareth Hargreaves

Don't get car out on the roads over the Christmas holidays - ensure you and your car are prepared.

Winter driving

At this time of year many of us are preparing to drive long distances to stay with our families over the festive season. Despite preparing for what the winter weather throws at us as motorists, breakdowns and accidents still happen.

Should you find yourself in a breakdown situation this winter, remember to stay calm and make use of this advice:-

Pull off the road as soon as you think there may be a problem with your car. Limping along could make the problem worst and cause further damage. Try to position your vehicle as far over to the left-hand-side of the road or hard shoulder as possible. Anyone getting out of the vehicle should exit by the left-hand-side passenger door.

Put your hazard warning lights on. In the dark, or in poor visibility conditions, leave your side-lights on as well.

If you break down in darkness or sub-zero temperatures, don't abandon the car and go trudging off. Motorists should stay with their vehicles and call for assistance, thereby ensuring their personal safety and protection, and that of their passengers.

In sub-zero temperatures, keep the engine running if possible, to enable the heater to function. While waiting for assistance, it is advisable to keep the doors locked, and when help arrives ask for identification.

Motorway breakdowns

Motorway traffic travels at high speed so a greater danger is presented to people breaking down on the hard shoulder. Should you break down or detect a problem with your vehicle on the motorway, Green Flag offers these guidelines:

If possible, leave the motorway at the next exit.

If you cannot leave the motorway, pull onto the hard shoulder and stop as near to an emergency telephone as possible. SOS telephones are situated every half-mile. Marker posts, positioned every 100 metres, indicate the direction of the nearest telephone.

Get people out of the car by the left-hand door and onto the banking if possible. If moving to the banking is not practical, remain in the car, moving to the passenger side if you can. Leave any animals inside the vehicle. Never attempt to complete any repairs yourself, not even changing a wheel.

If possible, call your recovery service, using a roadside emergency SOS telephone rather than a mobile phone. This will enable them to pinpoint your exact location much more quickly, and will also alert the police to your position.

If you are unable to reach an SOS telephone, don't panic, you can use a mobile phone to alert your recovery service of your position.

Please remember to drive carefully over the holiday season and have a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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