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Preparing for a bad weather journey – Tips and Technologies to help you

The weather is noticeably colder as we move deeper into September. It might not be snowing yet, but the foggy mornings of the last week are enough to remind all of us that autumn is upon us.

With the change in weather, comes the reminder that  that the roads in winter are hazardous places. Drivers of all types of vehicle would do well to remember that driving styles need to change to accommodate early fog, wind, rain and the issues that adverse weather will bring.

Following on from our blog last week, the 12 Point Vehicle Checklist for Driving in Bad Weather, we thought we would share some of the key points our expert driving instructors teach to students who pass through our many training courses on preparing for your journey in bad weather.

1. Check the weather – before you set out

It’s important to keep track of local and national weather conditions. Listening to local and national weather forecast is useful, as are the various weather apps that can be downloaded for free. Our favourites include:

Met Office Weather App

Seeing as the Met office provide the country with data, you expect their app to be the most accurate. It can even push notifications of severe weather warnings for your local region or the region you are travelling to. Overall we find it incredibly accurate, but occasionally a little slow to update.

AccuWeather

Massive detail for free including a variety of maps and forecasts up to 15 days ahead absolutely anywhere on the planet.

BBC Weather App

Clean, easy to use and ad free. Add new locations easily and swipe up and down to quickly view the latest in each location. Also, weather information can be checked up to 10 days in advance.

2. Check for traffic updates

Something you should do before any road journey, but especially important in bad weather. Once again, local and national radio give regular traffic updates throughout the day, but there are also apps that can deliver real-time updates on your chosen route.

INRIX XD Traffic app

INRIX will  map out the most clogged up roads with a clear display, with the worst jams marked in red. Enter your destination, and it’ll work out the best route based on current jams.

AA Traffic App

This version has a route planner and fuel finder, but isn’t as good as its predecessor. Still timely and accurate, though.

Waze

Continues to improve since being taken over by Google. It’s community-based system that relies on other drivers submitting reports when they hit jams, but it works well.

3. Charge your phone and carry an in-vehicle charger or battery pack

Always ensure your mobile phone is fully charged. Especially if you are relying on all those apps to help your journey. In-car chargers are cheap and reliable, as are portable chargers, such as:

AUKEY Quick Charge 2.0 Powerbank

Enough power to charge an iPhone 6 times and recharges itself in 30mins.

Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB C

Huge capacity and future proof too. versatile battery pack with a ton of charge capacity.

RAVPower Portable Charger 22,000mAh Battery Pack

Planning a long trip, this pack has massive capacity that will keep multiple devices charged during the journey. iPhone up to 9 times and affordable too.

3. Emergency Provisions

Ensure that you have emergency provisions in case of a breakdown. This might include anything from a blanket (tartan optional) to energy or chocolate bars. Essentially, you need to be able to

Keep safe 

Eg. Emergency triangle and hi-vis jackets

Keep warm

Keep stocked with water, appropriate coats and waterproofs, blanket/sleeping bag

Keep in contact with roadside assistance

Make sure you have a phone charger, battery packs and a record of the contacts you need to inform.

Know when not to travel

Lastly, if weather conditions are severe, only make your journey if it is absolutely necessary.

For further information about our extensive list of logistics training courses, call TTA’s expert training team on 0845 056 0561.

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