Despite meteorological spring starting in a few days, the UK braces itself for cold and snow to come in the next few days, as temperatures plunge. Whilst driving in snow can be difficult and should be avoided if possible, if you do venture out, read our tips below to be car safe!
Clear your vehicle of snow
Before setting off, make sure that you clear off all snow from your vehicle, including your roof as this could come off whilst driving and obstruct your view.
Plan your trip
Prior to your journey, make sure to check your route and avoid smaller less travelled roads where possible. Motorways and other major roads are more likely to be gritted.
During the winter months you should have at least 3mm of tread on your tyres. If you live in a rural area, it is worth considering winter tyres or snow chains to keep you safe and avoid a winter related accident.
Ensure you top-up your anti-freeze fluids during the winter months, use a 50/50 mix with water.
Winter packing and survival kit supplies
Make sure that you are prepared in case you get stuck somewhere. Make sure you pack a blanket, warning triangle, torch, first aid kit, jumper cables, mobile phone charger and food (small packages are always handy to keep in your car) and fluids to drink.
During the winter months you are more likely to get delayed, so it is important to make sure you have enough fuel for your journey (at least a quarter of a tank extra).
Once you are on the road:
- To avoid your wheels from spinning, accelerate slowly and try to get to the higher gears as soon as you can
- If you have poor visibility (less than 100m) use your fog lights until your vision improves
- Give yourself and other road users plenty of space as your stopping distance could be ten times more than normal
- Turning a corner? Make sure to brake in plenty of time before you turn the wheel, reducing your speed
- If you do skid, steer gently into it, keeping both hands on the steering wheel
- Drive more carefully and allow more time for your journey
Safe travels during this(hopefully) final winter month #CarSafety
Many motorists are unaware of legislation around their driving license and the requirement to keeping your photograph up-to-date. If you fail to do so you may have to pay a fine of up to £1,000.
How long is your driving licence valid for?
If you have a photocard driving licence, you must renew the photograph every 10 years. The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency will send out reminders to drivers who need to update their photo; however it your responsibility to check this. The renewal date can be found next to code 4b. It is also important that you renew your licence if you move house before your licence is up for renewal, otherwise you might get fined.
How do you renew your photo driving licence?
- If you have received your renewal reminder, fill in the form, otherwise obtain form D1 ‘Application for a Driving Licence’, which can be found in a Post Office or alternatively via the DVLA website (dvla.gov.uk).
- Take a passport-style photo – this must meet requirements of the form.
- Find both parts of your driving licence and return them to the DVLA. If you haven’t got both parts, state the reason on your renewal form.
- The fee for renewing your licence is £20.00, which must be made via cheque/postal order to DVLA, Swansea.
- Send photos, payment and your old licence (both parts) to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DH.
For more information about your driving licence:
DVLA – www.dvla.gov.uk
Gov.uk – www.gov.uk
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With the hot weather set to return and the summer holidays around the corner, many of us will be hitting the road this August. Follow our checklist to stay safe on the road whilst temperatures are scorching…
- Did you know that temperatures could double inside your vehicle even with windows left open? It is vital to never leave young, elderly or vulnerable people alone in the car as they could suffer from fatal heatstroke. As with people, this rule also applies to pets. If you do see any pets in a car, monitor their health closely and phone the police on 999 who will inform animal welfare services immediately.
- Before seating your children in the car, make sure to check safety belts as well as their seats, these can both reach high temperatures potentially causing second degree burns to children.
- Drink enough water as dehydration can cause serious consequences, including dizziness and fainting, which could not only endanger yourself but also other
- Make sure to check your tyre pressure and your tyres for damage and under-inflation frequently as high temperatures increase the risk of punctures.
- With one in five affected by hay fever it is worth keeping a non-drowsy remedy with you on your travels to prevent you from suffering whilst driving. It also worth keeping your air vents closed and to have a tissue at hand. A recent Halfords survey suggests that one in three motorists have been distracted by hay fever and that 2 million drivers have been involved in an accident or near miss.
- If your battery is older than 5 years, make sure that this is tested and replaced if required.
- Avoid overheating your vehicle – make sure to check that your car fluids are at the correct level and refill if required.
- Make sure to have an emergency kit kept in your car. The kit should include items such as drinking water, warning triangle, jump leads and a reflective emergency blanket (which can be used in the shade also). It’s also worth having an extra mobile phone charger with you in case your mobile runs out of juice.
Tony Poole, Director at CVSL commented: ‘‘most motorists are unaware of the dangers of driving in the heat. The above tips and applying common sense before setting off on a long journey will help you stay safe on the road. Make sure to take breaks especially when it is hot as it could often make you feel more tired than normal’’.
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CVSL wishes everyone a good and safe summer!
The Christmas holidays are officially over, decorations have been taken down and many of us return back to work and early starts whilst it is blisteringly cold outside. The arrival of January, February and March mean de-icing your car windscreen becomes part of your early morning routine. We hear the sigh throughout the country as no-one really likes getting up 10 minutes earlier. In this post we lay out the reasons why you should de-ice your car’s windscreen and give you the best advice on how to do it.
In the Highway Code it advises motorists to check local weather forecasts for warnings of snow and/or ice and NOT to drive in these conditions unless this is necessary. Before setting off on your journey you are required by law to clear snow and ice from all of your windows – these must be completely clear so you have good visibility and are not endangering other road users. You are also obliged to clear mirrors, number plates, indicators and reflectors of snow and ice.
What’s the best way to de-ice your windscreens?
You should use an ice scraper (gloves to keep your hands warm are also ideal!) and/or some de-icer liquid. When using de-icing liquid start spraying at the top of the window, as this will allow the spray to go down.
When scraping, start from left to right making firm strokes across the whole window screen – the police won’t be impressed if you just scrape the drivers-side part of the window screen.
What not to do?
Never use boiling or hot water to melt the ice on your car window windscreen as this is likely to cause permanent damage.
Use bankcards or loyalty cards as it will take you a very long time to do a whole windscreen and you don’t want to risk missing out on those loyalty points the next time you try to redeem them!
Whacking up the heating and waiting for it to defrost is not very good for the environment or your wallet.
Turning on your car engine and going back inside to defrost your windows is a big No No– when switching on your engine you need be in your vehicle as you need to be in control of it. Also leaving your keys in the ignition whilst you make yourself a brew will make your car an attractive object for car theft.
Be sure to clear your car windscreen this winter and don’t endanger yourself or others. Read our other winter travelling tips here.
With Christmas just around the corner, CVSL is bringing you five tips for safe travels during the festive period. During the Christmas period 13 million Brits take to the road to visit friends and relatives across the country.
Tip 1: Don’t drink and drive
However tempting it may be to drink that second large glass of red over a Christmas dinner, it wouldn’t be a wise choice. In 2012 there were 6,630 drink driving accidents, resulting 230 people killed by years end. Before setting off to visit family over Christmas it’s worth having a chat with your partner/family to nominate the designated driver for the day.
Tip 2: Security of your car
Packing the car with expensive Christmas presents? Make sure not leave any items on display and be sure to lock the door as thieves are more active over the Christmas period.
Tip 3: Visibility
Will it be a white Christmas this year? Before setting off on your travels make sure you clear your window screens of any snow or ice.
Tip 4: Road and weather conditions
Road and weather conditions can be unpredictable in December – so before setting off, make sure you are prepared in case of break down or accident. We advise all motorists to have a blanket and water supplies with them at all times. It’s also worth checking the weather forecast before embarking on your journey. If there is fog, make sure to open the drivers window so you can hear traffic, especially when you are approaching busy junctions or crossroads. Rainy December day? Make sure to brake on time – as stopping distances double in wet conditions. Ice on the road? Avoid harsh and sudden braking whilst snow will also reduce your visibility so we recommend the use dipped headlights.
Tip 5: Night driving
Driving home late after that Christmas dinner at your parents? Make sure to clean your windscreen and check your lights before setting off. Also, if you are travelling a long distance make sure to factor in a break every two hours.
CVSL is wishing you a very merry Christmas and safe travels during the festive period.