Getting about in Snowy Hitchin
By HitchinPeople | Monday, December 20, 2010, 09:48
With severe snow fall in Hitchin at the weekend and the most
Cambridge Road on Saturday
Bancroft on Saturday
recent ‘weather warning’ still advising us to “be prepared” we’ve put together some handy tips to help
you stay safe and stay moving.
Of course the best option is to walk to where you need to
go, but living in the real world we all know that’s not always possible. So, if you do have to get somewhere in the
car have a think about how prepared you are for the winter conditions.
Make sure your car is ready and reduce your chances of breaking
down on the road by carrying out these few simple checks - and particularly
before a long journey:
- Check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator
- Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs
- Ensure your windscreen is clean
- Replace the battery if it's not reliable
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and replace them if
the tread has reached the legal minimum. For further information please see
Staying as comfortable and being prepared when out on the
road makes all the difference. Have an
emergency kit in your car.
Items in your emergency kits could include:
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch and spare batteries
- Extra warm clothes and a blanket
- Suitable footwear
- First aid kit
- Jump leads
- Food and drink
- A shovel
- Reflective warning sign
- Sunglasses - the glare off snow can be dazzling
Remember to adjust your driving to suit the current
conditions. It may sound obvious but
from what I saw at the weekend people still get way to close to the car in
front and speed up to junctions.
Here are some simple tips and things to remember
- Stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow.
- Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving.
- Wear comfortable, dry shoes: cumbersome, snow-covered boots
will slip on the pedals.
- Select second gear when pulling away, easing your foot off
the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
- When climbing a hill it's important to avoid having to stop
on the hill by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of
room between you and the car in front. Try to maintain a constant speed,
choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down
on the hill.
- When driving downhill, reduce your speed before the hill,
use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as
possible between you and the car in front.
- Always apply brakes gently. Release them and de-clutch if
the car skids.
- If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the
snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to
give the tyres some grip. Once on the move again, try not to stop until you
reach firmer ground.