As we near the end of November temperatures are quickly dropping and there is a significant chill in the air! Whilst I am more of a Summer bird and long for those heatwave days spent in the park and chilling in sandals, we cannot escape the fact that Winter is fast approaching and as a result, we are needing to dig out our winter warmers in preparation.

Being prepared for Winter is second nature to us and as we get to this time of year, where the flip flops are replaced with wellies and thick socks, and the sun hats are replaced with wooly hats, our thoughts are turned to staying warm and safe in Wintery conditions – We are quick to dig out our gloves, feather coats, scarves etc all to ensure our bodies are protected and ready for the Winter weather, but are we as quick to ensure we are safe in our cars during these potentially icy and dangerous conditions? Do we get our Cars as winter ready as we do our families?

As we approach Winter, I wanted to highlight a few things for you to consider, that will help keep you and your family be more prepared and hopefully more safe and warm throughout this season when out on the road.

Blankets 

A box, tub or bag of warm blankets (or sleeping bags) in the boot of your car can literally be a lifesaver if you break down! Being stranded or breaking down is no fun at the best of times – it can be awful in subzero conditions and especially with kids!

Avoid illness and being uncomfortable in this scenario by carrying warm blankets – this will give you peace of mind that in the unfortunate incident of breaking down, you will at least be warm in you car for a few hours.

Blankets are also useful generally for when you are travelling back on cold nights with kids..they can snuggle in the car and go off to sleep giving you a more peaceful journey! Blankets are a must for travelling in colder temperatures.

Winter Tyres

Next to being safe inside, is the outside of your car. Winter Tyres are designed and engineered to work best in cold weather conditions below 7 degrees celsius. They feature small grooves known as “sipes” across the larger tread pattern and are constructed with a compound that does not harden in freezing conditions (unlike Summer tyres that will stiffen up in cooler weather). These characteristics allow the tyre to grip the road far better than a summer tyre in snow and ice and significantly improve braking distances in such conditions.

Companies like Tyreplus can advise you on the right ones for your car, and as well as having locations throughout the country, they also offer a mobile fitting service (at home or work). WIth the ease and value of it, there really is no reason to not get your car winter ready this year by swapping to winter tyres.

De-Icer & Anti-Freeze

Ensure your water is topped up with anti-freeze and ensure you have a trusty can of De-icer somewhere in your car. For us this is usually rolling around in the foot well somewhere, but we have it all the same! You can pick them up from all supermarkets, garages and cheapo shops for £1-2! It can make those icy mornings far easier and your car run more smoothly!

Shovel 

Be careful what you are carrying in your car, but a small shovel can be useful should you find yourself snowed in somewhere. I know at one time this wasn’t very likely here in the UK, but with increasing bad weather, you can never be too careful.

Snacks

Finally don’t forget to add a few snacks such as cereal bars, nuts or crips. Things that have a good shelf life and are quick to grab should you find yourself stranded/broken down. Keeping warm and fed are essentials and this again will offer peace of mind in an emergency.

Our cars go through a lot, and we rely heavily on them to get around and to get to work, school and leisure activities. Take care of your car and you family this Winter by being prepared for every scenario. These seemingly small things could make a massive difference to your safety and comfort in the coming months.

*In collaboration with TyrePlus 

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Tomorrow our summer holidays officially start and whilst I have a sneaky feeling several days will be complete madness, I can not wait for some summer fun with the kids! As I look ahead over these next few weeks of hopefully long hot summer days and lots of adventures with them, I am reminded of a couple of summers ago, when whilst pregnant with Poppy, a spontaneous beach trip turned into a tyre blow out and being stranded with 2 kids, no food and a lot of heat, at the side of a country lane. The time it took to have my sister come save us, get the wheel fixed and be back on the road, we had to get home again and were all well and truly gutted to have missed out on a fun day with grandma at the seaside.

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For a few weeks now we have had on the fridge door a whole months worth of plans for the kids and I to enjoy and make the most of this years summer holidays. I know from looking which days we will need a picnic, which days we will stay home, approximate expenditure and the days we need to drop some texts in advance to hopefully have friends or cousins join us. I am a planner and I like to be in control and know whats happening. It makes life easier to organise the kids and be confident in what I am doing as mother, its even more important to me now that I have a new born baby to have some kind of plan so that I know what I am doing day to day to avoid stress. The mistake I made 2 summers ago was not that I decided to be spontaneous and go against the plan, it was that I hadn’t or rather we as a family hadn’t planned properly for summer generally. Its easy to plan picnics and day trips, throw in the sun hats and cream, plan to take extra clothing or wellies etc, but one thing many of us miss is making sure the car is ready for summer, after all it is that that is doing all the work in getting us safely to our adventures and home again. I learn’t just 2 years ago after driving for almost 10 years that there is something known as winter and summer tyres and that day when I took my wheel with its battered tyre on to the garage I not only had to pay a premium but was made aware that we in fact had a winter tyre on and this wasn’t suitable for the increase in heat for the summer, thus causing a blow out and potentially dangerous situation for us all, especially when just 20minutes previous we had been on the busy M62!!!

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I recently found a website called “Point-S” where they make it extremely straight forward to buy cheap tyres suitable for your car and the season we are in (take a look its pretty great). I cannot tell you enough how scary and generally inconvenient that day was, and each summer since I have thought about it and pondered on what might have happened. As a mother I think how we protect our kids from the sun, from the dangers of water, and strangers, when all along we could be driving in dangerous conditions because we have over looked the tyre situation on our car for summer.
So to avoid a summers day stranded with your kids or risking the safety of you all whilst out and about, check the car and check the tyres before you are planning budgets, outfits, picnics and outings and lets all have an amazing chilled, fun and safe summer !

*This is a collaborative post

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