Advice when in the car
With over 42% of Birmingham households owning one car and 20% owning 2 cars it is not surprising how congested our major trunk roads and motorways are becoming.
There can be situations where you may be stuck in your car for a number of hours. This could be due to sheer volume of traffic, a major accident or because of severe weather conditions such as flooding or snow and ice.
Make sure you don’t get caught out! Make sure you plan for the unexpected.
Be prepared and keep an emergency kit in your boot!
All year round you should keep:
- Bottled water
- Long life snacks
- First Aid Kit
- Torch and batteries
- Mobile phone and cigar plug lead
- Useful telephone numbers
Additionally, in winter months:
- Blankets and warm clothing
- Waterproof coat and hat
- Wellingtons / waterproof boots
- Spare thick socks
Advice when driving in heavy rain, standing water and floods
During heavy downpours even the most modern road surfaces are still susceptible to standing water. This not only reduces your visibility but creates a potential aquaplaning hazard. To reduce the risk of accident please drive slowly but if steering does become unresponsive ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
Only ever drive through standing water if you can visually see the surface and it is shallow. Drive slowly (at a crawl pace) and steadily to avoid creating a bow wave and test your brakes as soon as you can after leaving the water. Don’t ever drive fast through standing water as you may experience aquaplaning.
Do not ever attempt to drive or walk through fast moving water – your car could easily be swept away.
For further advice and information from the AA visit: http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/seasonal/floods-and-wet-weather.html
If you have to drive somewhere, it is also sensible to think about conserving fuel and saving money!
- Do you really need to drive? Don’t use the car unless you have to.
- You can walk / cycle / use public transport / car pool / share vehicles with others
- Combine your errands – don’t make 2 car trips if you can do it in 1
- Maintain your car properly – poorly tuned engines can more than double your fuel consumption
- Check your tyre pressure: having the correct pressure can save you fuel Plan your journey
- avoid travelling at peak times if you can – sitting in traffic will waste your fuel
- Know your route – you won’t waste fuel getting lost or driving further than necessary
- Restrict your speed – the most efficient speed to drive at is between 55 and 65 mph, depending on the vehicle and where permitted. By keeping a constant speed you will consume less fuel – drive steadily. (As a rule of thumb a one-unit increase in speed requires a 3-unit increase in power consumption)
- Don’t idle: one minute of idling consumes more fuel than starting your engine.
- Turn off the ignition if you’re waiting
- Use fewer electrics: they make your car burn more fuel
- Don’t carry unnecessary weight in your car – only take what you need, the heavier your car the more fuel it will consume