Thank heavens the weather conditions have improved and the big thaw has almost completed. Now as everything becomes reassuringly damp again we can reflect on what a sorry state the UK get’s itself in when the weather moves anyway near an extreme.
Following on from our article on the BBC’s Mr motoring ubiquity Quentin Wilson and his “top tips” for driving in wintery weather conditions we here at MTI have banged a few brain cells together and, for a bit of weekend fun, have come up with our own list of indispensible nuggets of advice on getting the most out of your car when the council have run out of salt and grit (again) and the roads are clogged up with snow.
Fed up with people thinking your dumb and treating you like a small child and advising you with the blatantly obvious? Well here’s the antidote, the MTI Winter Driving for Dummies guide;
During wintry weather conditions:
Ask yourself – is your journey essential? In fact don’t stop with yourself ask other people too.
Make sure you check the local and national weather forecasts as it may only be snowing in your street
Eject your Susan Boyle CD and listen to local and national radio for travel information.
Make sure you tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive and don’t bother to tell them if the answer to tip number one was no.
Adjust your driving to the conditions as hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility, so try and drive faster so you can get to your destination quicker.
Use dipped headlights. In fact turn all your lights on and forget the fog light is on next time you drive the car.
The dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses handy and to complete the “Bono” look wear a large cowboy hat.
Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots, a torch, a shovel, high visibility vest, hiking boots, two weeks supply of baked beans, a miners hat, travel scrabble, a portable TV, water, some Kendall mint cake, a bed, tent, calour gas cylinders, flares, blankets, sleeping bag, duvet, pajamas, teas maid, and milk. In snowy conditions take at least 2 tennis rackets to strap to your feet to make an impromptu pair of snow shoes.
Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer. To save time just make a tiny peep hole, it’s good enough for tank commanders.
When de-icing the car make sure you wear clothes, do not attempt to carry out your de-icing duties wearing just your underwear or night attire as you will get very cold. The same goes for footwear, avoid wearing slippers as they will get soggy or flip-flops as you may get frostbite.
To maximise the fun of driving in black ice and snow ensure you have illegal tyres as the skidding and crashing into parked cars will be far more satisfying.
If you are running low on screen wash and water in your washer bottle try going past large trucks and use the splash of filthy water to clear your screen. This will have the added benefit of increasing the chance of a white knuckle ride on those treacherous but boring motorways.
When the snow is really thick you will get to your destination far quicker if you have a barely road legal vehicle which you can drive on the outside lane at speed. No one else uses this lane and you will gain pleasure from leaving those slow moving over cautious cretins in your slipstream.
Ensure your handbrake is in tip top order you will need it to be able to execute 360 degree turns in the snow and ice.
Remember ABS does not function in the snow so when you start skidding brake hard and feel the exhilarating sheer terror of nothing happening.
On a long hazardous journey make sure you turn your mobile phone off as this is an easy way to find out how much your loved ones miss you.
Defying the weather is heroic and makes a statement about you, if you can wear a pair of brief shorts or Speedo’s and a singlet whilst driving in horrendous weather conditions you are sure to gain admiring glances from your fellow road users.
Oh yeah, always wear white.