With the best of the summer heatwave behind us, it’s time to start thinking about winter.
Last winter the nation was gripped by the Beast from the East – a severe bout of cold weather brought about when winds from Siberia pushed in from the east, causing daily sub-zero temperatures and misery on Britain’s roads.
Sadly, breakdowns and accidents are an inevitable consequence of cold weather, and inadequate planning can leave you vulnerable to breakdowns, accidents and fines.
Keep it clean – or risk a penalty
Snow and ice, as well as salt and grit on the roads, mean that visibility suffers in winter. However, section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that it is a legal requirement to have a clear view of the road ahead before you set off on a journey.
Windscreens and windows need to be properly cleared of snow and ice or drivers risk a fine. So make sure you have a bottle of Halfords Trigger De-Icer 500ml, £2.50, to hand before the cold weather sets in.
We rely on our screenwash more in the winter, so it’s a good idea to be fully stocked up with Halfords Screenwash Concentrate 5L, £5, too. It is suitable for temperatures down to minus 10 degrees.
Better still, invest in a Halfords 5 Piece Winter Essentials Kit, £10, which has all you need, including 1 Litre Halfords -9C Screenwash, 400ML Halfords -20C De-Icer, 500ML Halfords -25C Night Before De-Icer, Scraper and Synthetic Demister Pad.
Keep it covered
Of course, you’ll need more than a clear windscreen. Rule 229 of The Highway Code dictates that drivers also need to demist and clear mirrors, clean all lights, make sure number plates are visible and remove any snow on the vehicle that may fall into the path of other vehcles.
Using a Halfords All Seasons Car Cover, from £50, will ensure that your car is clear of snow and ice, saving you lots of time and bother in the mornings. The breathable cover has a fleece lining for extra protection and can be secured to your vehicle with its under-car straps.
Get a grip
If the weather really does take a turn for the worst with severe snow and ice, then it’ll be hard to maintain a grip on the roads – particularly if you live in a hilly area or on a quiet road that may not be gritted.
A set of Universal Multigrip Snow Socks, £59.99, will help you navigate snowy highways. Used on your drive wheels only, they take just a couple of minutes to fit.
Breakdowns: be prepared
With your windows clear of snow and ice, and your wheels snow-ready, you’ll have made every effort to prevent many winter-related mishaps.
But of course, mechanical failures can still happen. Carry an AA Breakdown and Emergency Kit, £30, in your boot, so you’re prepared if the worst happens.
It includes a hazard warning triangle to warn other road users; a tow rope and booster cables so that you can be moved off the roadside, footpump with gauge in case of a puncture, hi-grip cotton gloves for maximum grip and a weatherproof torch and batteries for night-time use.
For added peace of mind, get a Free Halfords Car Check to protect against any surprise pit stops en route. Book online at halfords.com or visit a store – there’s no appointment necessary – and you’ll get a free car bulb and battery check, plus checks on your wiper blades, engine oil level, air conditioning and any windscreen chips. They’ll even give you a screenwash top-up – all for free.
A Halfords Snow Shovel, £5, either in your garage or in your boot, will mean that if you do need to dig your car from the tundra, you can.
Finally, it’s recommended that you check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls are predicted. Investing in a sat nav with live traffic updates will mean you’re up to date with weather blackspots.
The Garmin Drive 50 sat nav, £89.99 (save £10), comes preloaded with lifetime maps of the UK and Ireland – but also comes with driver alerts to increase situational awareness and encourage safer driving.
Whatever the weather throws at us, Halfords has all you need to make sure you’re Really Ready for Winter.
Visit www.halfords.com or go in-store for full details on all offers and services.
Prices correct at time of publication.