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Driving Guide Car Leasing

FLOWERS - Staying Safe on the roads this Winter

Planet have put together this handy guide to 7 components of the Flowers guide this winter to stay safe, stay warm and avoid any unnecessary disruption to your journeys

20th Dec 2023 Planet Leasing Staff

Winter can bring challenging driving conditions, but with careful preparation, you can ensure a safe and smooth journey.

Drivers are being urged to take care over the winter period when faced with challenging winter conditions. With so much preparation for gifts and visiting family over Christmas, it's quite easy to overlook some important safety factors.

Fortunately, Flowers come to the rescue!

It's winter, Planet, what on earth is the relevance of Flowers right now?!

Fuel
Lights
Oil
Water
Electrics
Rubber
Stuck

This acronym (or is it an initialism?!) was created to help drivers remember the key aspects to check before embarking on winter journeys and serves as a very concise and important checklist for all drivers over the coming months as the evenings remain dark and the colder, icier weather draws near.
We've thrown in a couple of relevant extras for 2023 to take into account the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles.

 

Let's Dive In!

 

Fuel

The first letter in F.L.O.W.E.R.S. stands for fuel. Before setting off on a winter drive, ensure that your vehicle has enough fuel, including AdBlue for diesel engines. Running out of fuel can leave you stranded in cold and possibly treacherous conditions. It is always wise to keep your fuel tank filled up during the winter season, allowing you to stay warm in case of unforeseen delays.
For electric vehicles, it's important to be aware of the potential reduction in range due to the colder weather and it's effect on the battery capacity. Do some reading into other's experiences and how this may affect your journey.

Lights

Properly functioning lights are crucial for visibility during dark and gloomy winter days. Check that all your lights – high beam, low beam, and indicators – are working correctly. If any bulbs need replacing, do so promptly. Don't forget to adjust your headlights correctly to avoid dazzling other drivers. Being visible to others on the road is essential for everyone's safety.

Oil

The next letter in the F.L.O.W.E.R.S. acronym reminds us to check our vehicle's oil level. Oil plays a vital role in keeping the engine running smoothly, particularly during cold weather. Ensure that the oil is topped up to the recommended level, as low oil levels can cause engine damage and potentially leave you stranded.

Water

Water refers to checking the various fluid levels in your vehicle. Ensure that the coolant and windscreen wash levels are correct. Coolant is crucial for preventing your engine from freezing, while windscreen wash helps maintain clear visibility by keeping your windscreen clean. Topping up these fluids regularly is especially important during winter when conditions can be harsh and dirty.

Electrics

Electrical components play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and comfortable driving experience. Alongside lights, check other electrically operated items such as windscreen wipers, horns, heating, and demisters. Faulty or ineffective electrical systems can significantly hinder your ability to drive safely. Be proactive and have any issues resolved before they become more significant problems.
Just as you would with electric batteries, check the battery on your petrol/diesel vehicle - if your battery is old, it may be at even more risk of degradation due to lower temperatures. The last thing you need is to have no way to start your vehicle, or having to mess around with leads and connections, calling out friends or relatives for a jumpstart when they're tucked up on the sofa, just about to watch Home Alone for the 167th time!

Rubber

Rubber refers to two critical components of your vehicle – windscreen wipers and tyres, but may also affect the seals around your doors and bonnet. Damaged or worn-out windscreen wipers can impair visibility during rain, snow, or sleet. It is advisable to replace them if they are not working efficiently. Additionally, the AA recommends having a minimum tyre tread depth of 3mm for optimal grip on slippery winter roads. Worn-out tyres can compromise your vehicle's ability to handle challenging conditions, so make sure to have them checked.
If necessary, please get them replaced ASAP - it is just not worth taking the risk.

Stuck

'Stuck' is a bonus component to the original acronym 'Flower' but is every bit as important to be prepared for unexpected situations and potential emergencies during the winter season.
No one expects to break down or become stranded at a hotel unable to restart their vehicle, but it's an unfortunate fact that it happens and likely at the worst and least expected time.
It is advisable to carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including warm clothing, a torch, an ice scraper, jump leads, a first aid kit, and some non-perishable food, such as cereal bars, long-life milk and nutritional bars. These items will provide you with the most basic of necessities in case you find yourself stranded or immobilised in severe weather conditions.
Additionally, ensuring you're staving off hunger and thirst will reduce fatigue on the road once you get going after a long delay, potentially many hours in some cases.

 

As the winter season kicks up unique challenges on the roads, please prioritise safety as a driver. By remembering the F.L.O.W.E.R.S. acronym and following the tips provided for each letter, you can ensure that your vehicle is well-prepared for winter conditions.

Regular checks, sufficient fuel, functional lights, adequate oil levels, correct fluid levels, efficient electrics, and good-quality rubber are the keys to a safe and smooth winter driving experience and can all be carried out in less than 20 minutes to avoid hours of delays later.

Stay prepared, stay vigilant, and enjoy your Christmas and other winter journeys with peace of mind.

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