With another Beast from the East predicted to hit us this winter, here are some reminders if you’re planning on driving one of our rental cars or hire vans on icy conditions.
One of the challenges presented by living in a country where weather rarely gets that extreme, is that when things do get a little unusual, we’re not typically experienced at dealing with it, or used to making preparations for it.
But with the tabloids once more getting excited about the possibility of a ‘polar vortex’ and predicting a second Beast from the East, here are some sensible tips for driving your rental vehicle on icy roads this winter.
1. Be prepared
This one’s especially important if you’re planning on taking your hire car or van on a long distance journey or onto rural roads in bad weather. Remember, you don’t have to have an accident yourself to be affected by it. Last year, hundreds of motorists were stuck on the M62 overnight when lorries ahead of them jack-knifed. So…
- Keep the vehicle well fuelled
- Keep your mobile charged
- Keep a can of WD40 in the hire car or rental van to de-ice locks etc
- Keep yourself well and warm with an extra blanket, snacks and drink. Make sure they’re always in easy reach and you don’t need to get out of the car to access them
2. Leave more time for your journey
If there’s a chance of disruption, the last thing you need is to be rushed for time. Check travel information and plan your route accordingly. Sticking to well used routes may give you the best chance of reaching your destination as they will be the routes that have been well gritted and where traffic flow can help prevent accumulation. Most importantly, consider whether your journey is really necessary or consider a postponement until conditions improve.
3. Modify your driving
Stick to clear lanes and, if there’s lying snow and ice, drive in the tracks of those in front of you. Leave much more room between you and the car in front. Your stopping distances may be many times their usual limits and ABS may not work effectively. When setting off in slippery conditions, you may want to start in second gear.
4. Manage skids
If you start to skid, steer into it, so if the back of your car is sliding left, steer left. Don’t leave the car to correct itself.
Talk to us about hire vehicles that can help keep you moving this winter.