by Craig Halliday

LAST year’s Beast from the East brought travel chaos to the UK, as snow and freezing temperatures impacted both roads and public transport.

Are you prepared if a similar cold snap returns this year?

Reminding both yourself and your employees of the simple measures to take while driving in freezing temperatures can help to reduce chances of being involved in an accident or breakdown.

Check oil and water levels in your engine to ensure your car is in good working order before setting off.

Remember to make sure all of your lights are working and that you have enough fuel for the journey.

Also check your tyre treads. They must be at least 1.6mm to be legal but the deeper they are, the more control you’ll have on snow and ice.

Fill your washers with a high-grade screen wash to avoid freezing. Never try to defrost your windscreen with hot water, as it could easily crack.

Before you leave, plan your journey and let someone know the route you intend to take and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged. It’s also a good idea to stock up on these winter driving essentials:

* de-icer

* ice scraper

* blanket

* torch

* coat and gloves

* boots

* shovel.

When driving, always leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. Stopping in snow and ice can require ten times the usual distance.

Remember to drive slowly. To avoid wheel spinning, accelerate very gently. If you start to skid, pump your brakes to stop the wheels locking.

Ultimately, if the forecast or conditions are bad, only drive if your journey is absolutely necessary.

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