As snow has swept the UK I’m sure a few people have been caught out by breaking down while trying to maintain travel, such as getting to work. On a normal day you might just ring your partner or friend to come and pick you up or wait for your recovery company. In the winter weather however the recovery companies are likely to be flat out, as the cold weather is great for bringing underlying potential car faults to a surface.
So you are a mile or two outside Taunton on a dark A road on your way home from work. The inevitable sinking feeling as your car comes to a halt soon turns into the panic of what will you do next.
The most important priority is safety, and the best way to achieve this is in preparation. A few simple things can help you in that lonely time while you await roadside rescue. If possible as your car comes to a halt try to get it into the safest place you can. The first priority is to get your car seen. If your battery is working put on your hazard lights. A lot of modern cars have road emergency triangles in the boot. If so open the boot. Or if it is a free standing affair put it behind your car preferably 10 metres or so behind your car to give other drivers plenty of warning. The second priority is to make sure you are safe. If your car is stranded on an unsafe spot of the road near a corner or stuck on the hard shoulder of a motorway the safest thing to do is get out of the car. A Ford KA Taunton, Ford Fusion Taunton or other smaller cars are just going to be no match for a lorry. This is where more preparation comes into play. In my car I keep a coat and a bottle of water. There is plenty of space to store a few simple essentials and they can make all the difference. A car blanket or similar also takes up little boot space. These things alone mean that, if you need to leave your vehicle you can keep warm and have something to drink. Sometimes you could end up waiting around for up to several hours waiting for rescue. In the winter I also keep a spade in the boot. 10 minutes digging is much better than walking home if your car is stuck in snow. Often in winter travel is actually OK once you get out of the first 50 to 100 yards of your journey and work your way onto a main road unless extremely severe.
These few simple things have probably saved a lot of people a great deal of discomfort in the latest winter weather, and you can bet the unprepared wished for such things in their hour of need. We still have most of the worst winter weather ahead. Be prepared and be safe.