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The seasonal descent into dark wintery days and (seemingly) relentless rain makes the prospect of heading out onto the highway rather unappealing. Extremely wet and windy autumnal weather increases the chance of floods and fallen trees blocking roads across the country. Add this to poor visibility and the arrival of ice as temperatures plummet, and driving conditions become increasingly dangerous.
Staying safe should be every responsible driver’s priority, particularly if ferrying young passengers around. Here’s some advice on reducing the risks of breakdown and preparing for the worst-case scenario.
Motoring agencies advise to avoid driving altogether when extremely bad weather is forecast, unless your journey is absolutely essential. Of course, something “essential” differs from one person to the next, but it is always worth weighing up the risks first and considering alternative travel.
If travelling by car is unavoidable this winter, then your vehicle must be in tip top condition. You should have a good stock of de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and antifreeze. It’s wise to get a full service before the worst weather hits, but if you have left it too late, there are a few essential things you can check yourself before setting out.
Even a short trip can become a long ordeal if a blocked road or breakdown leaves you trapped out in the cold. So, along with your everyday emergency kit (mobile phone and in-car charger, personal medication and first aid kit, warning triangle, spare bulbs, road atlas and breakdown cover), keep the following stashed in your boot throughout the winter:
These measures will reduce the risks on the road, but in the unfortunate event of an accident, it’s good to have a proper insurance policy behind you.
Our account handlers can advise on insurance and roadside cover options for minibuses and other vehicles owned by your charity. For more information, please click on the links below: