Motorists warned: prepare for the winter or break down!

By | Category: Travel rumblings, Travel tips & opinions

Motoring insurance and assistance provider, Aria Assistance, has warned that challenging winter weather conditions, such as increased rainfall, ice and strong winds, drastically increase the chances of vehicles breaking down.

Aria receives approximately 30 per cent more calls for roadside assistance during the peak winter months and advises drivers to take the proper safety precautions. These include:

Planning journeys carefully and carrying items such as a torch, shovel and warm clothing
Warming the engine before setting off
Checking oil, water, antifreeze and battery electrolyte levels regularly
Ensuring headlights function properly
Keeping windscreens clear and using an additive to prevent wipers freezing
Driving carefully – stopping distances are up to 10 times longer in icy weather
In addition, it may be wise to consider winter tyres, especially if you live in a remote area where weather conditions tend to be worse.

Winter tyres are made from a rubber/silica compound and have a special tread pattern. This means they retain flexibility in cold temperatures (below +7C) and offer good braking/traction performance on snowy, icy or wet roads. Winter tyres are expensive and not suitable for all year round use, so ask a garage to carry out an assessment before making this decision.

What to do when you are waiting for roadside assistance:
Move the vehicle to the left side of the road out of the flow of traffic, if possible.
Move the vehicle as far away from the traffic flow as you can but you also want to be visible enough so that people can see you.
Show clear signs that there is a problem and you need assistance by raising the vehicle bonnet. This is an internationally recognised sign of distress.
In addition, turn on your hazard lights and display any signs you have that indicate you need help.
If you remain with the vehicle, another motorist will likely report your disabled vehicle to the police, and it will be easier for the police or others to provide assistance.
Always make sure everyone gets out of the vehicle on the passenger side, onto the hard shoulder or pavement.
If your vehicle is in a vulnerable position do not allow passengers to remain in the vehicle.
Stay off of the road and away from the vehicle and do not stand in front of or to the rear of the vehicle.
Do not attempt to make repairs on a vehicle while it is in an area exposed to other traffic.
Keep a warm jacket, hat and some ‘sensible’ shoes or boots in the car… just in case.


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