The UK has already been hit by the first frost of winter, and motorists are having to get ready for the unique challenges that winter brings. So to help you prepare here are five vital pieces of kit that every driver should have on hand to help them cope with the worst of the winter weather in Yorkshire this year – and a few gadgets and gift ideas to lift the winter gloom.
In-car phone charger
Winter driving is all about being prepared for the worst, and if you do have an accident the last thing you want is to be unable to get in touch with people. While most modern smartphones are packed with a huge array of games and gadgets, this means they tend to have a pretty poor battery life, so having a charger on hand means you can always keep in contact in case of an emergency.
Ice scraper and de-icer
It might seem basic, but having an ice scraper and spray on hand is an absolutely essential tool of winter driving. Already motorists across the UK are having to get up that little bit earlier to scrape clear their windows before setting off, and while some modern cars have heated windscreens to help speed up this chore they cannot always be relied upon.
It is a legal requirement to keep your front and rear windscreens clear of snow ice – as well as making sure your licence plate and lights are clear and fully visible. So having a scraper and de-icer in your car at all times means you’ll never be caught out.
It might seem an unusual item to have on hand in the depths of winter, but any seasoned driver will know just how treacherous the low winter sun can be – especially if it is reflected off bright snow or ice. When road conditions are at their most changeable, being able to have a clear view of what’s up ahead is vital; having your sunnies to hand means you won't be blinded by the light.
When the worst of winter strikes there’s never any guarantee help will be able to get to you, so it’s vital to be ready for anything – including getting stuck in the snow, or finding your road blocked by an unexpected pile of wintry debris. A shovel is an essential piece of kit for digging your car out of all sorts of unexpected hazards, and a fold-up one can be easily stored away in the boot.
Bad weather can mean long delays – with reports in recent years of drivers being stuck in huge jams on motorways overnight. So making sure you have suitable clothing is vital. Always keep a few warm blankets safely stored in the car, and make sure you have a good pair of boots with grip, in case you need to get out of the vehicle onto a slippery surface. That way even if you’re stuck you’ll at least be warm. Don’t forget to keep some food and water in the car.
Gift ideas this Christmas
Of course, it doesn’t all have to be about the essentials there are plenty of fun winter gadgets and gizmos that can make long journeys a bit more enjoyable, as well as being practical.
Heated car seat covers are available from as little as £20 and can make those chilly morning commutes a little more pleasurable. Or you could ask for the ultimate thermos upgrade for Christmas and get a battery-powered portable espresso machine for the car.
And for a bit of extra cover, why not get an in-car dashboard camera, which can provide a bit of added insurance if you do have a winter accident, or run into some unexpected reindeer.
For something a little different, you could even consider getting a personalised licence plate as the perfect gift – while there are certain rules and regulations that have to be followed, there’s a huge array of licence plates available which would be sure to turn heads, as well as being ideal for someone who loves their car.
Julie from Carreg.co.uk said: “You can theme the lettering to match a name, a sports club, the make of car or even a big birthday – a private or cherished plate is as individual as you are.”
For more information visit www.carreg.co.uk