Winter seems to be causing travel-related grief all over the UK. Where I live in North Yorkshire, we had our first snow in late November and we have just had another large dumping of the white stuff over the weekend – it is becoming quite familiar!
Driving in snowy and icy conditions is best avoided, but if you do need to travel, you must be prepared. Here are my top 6 most used accessories so far this winter:
- Ice Scraper – use it to clear snow and ice from your windscreen and all windows before setting off. Beware of using your windscreen wipers to do this – if the wiper blades are stuck to the windscreen with ice, you may well tear the rubber of the wiper blades, making them useless.
- De-icer spray – Once you’ve got rid of the bulk of the snow and ice, de-icer spray does a better job of getting rid of the final layer of ice on your windscreen and keeping it liquid for long enough to use your windscreen wipers to finally clear the screen.
- Screenwash – once your windscreen is clear, the only way it will stay that way for more than a short time is through regular applications of screenwash. Make sure you make it nice and strong – in temperatures like we are having at the moment, you can even use it undiluted (check instructions on bottle for details).
- Brush (from a dustpan and brush) – for clearing fresh snow from your vehicle, a handheld brush is ideal – make sure it is one with soft bristles. It enables you to sweep the snow off the whole of your car in a couple of minutes, without getting your hands wet.
- Folding snow shovel – your windscreen may be clear, but if your wheels are spinning, you won’t go anywhere. Don’t just put salt down on top of loose snow or thick ice – it won’t work quickly enough. Use a shovel to scrape back the snow and ice down to the surface of the road and then put salt on it, if you still need to.
- Old cardboard boxes or carpet – keep these in the boot and use them to make strips that you can put under your drive wheels (the front wheels on most cars) to help you get moving.
These are the six most-used accessories in my car at the moment – if you have any other tips to share, then leave a comment below to help us all out in these difficult driving conditions.