If you live in a part of the world where the winters are really sever every year, then you probably have your winter motoring needs down to a tee.
Motorists living in far northern climes or internal continental areas where the winters are always severe are usually so used to dealing with extreme conditions that snow tires, snow chains, spare batteries, jump cables and the like are second nature.
Instead, the danger lies in areas which are usually temperate in the extremes of winter but which are prone to have extreme conditions from time to time; areas like the north west corner of Europe and coastal areas of both sides of the States reasonably far north.
In such zones, winter weather can go either way. Ninety five per cent of the time, you don’t face anything really testing. But from time to time, you do. And when these areas suddenly get a really bleak spell, the motorists living there are often found relatively unprepared. So what you really need to do is prepare your car for the most extreme conditions possible.
So you need to wax and wax-oil your car thoroughly, get it fully serviced, make sure your tires are in good condition and consider snow tires – and/or carry snow chains, jump cables and spare gas. For some eco cars like hybrids, this preparation is doubly important. Ensure the correct functioning of he battery and if you have any doubts, get it looked at.
Now put a couple of sleeping bags and a lightweight shovel in the trunk, along with a powerful torch with new batteries. Above all, carry water – both for you and the car. Dehydration is the biggest danger in cold weather. Next, put some dried food in the car and always carry your (fully charged…) cell phone.
Also – do your research on which cars are most reliable. For example, in the UK, Honda has been found to be the most reliable manufacturer for six years in a row in independent surveys.
Above all, drive slowly and carefully.