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Safe Travel Plan

Prepare an Emergency Kit by gathering a few essential items and keeping them in your car. This will be useful should you find yourself in a difficult situation during a journey.

Preparation of an emergency kit

Snowy Road Below are items that should be in your emergency kit, but also consider what could be important for you.

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and spare batteries, or wind up torch
  • Warm, waterproof clothes, hat and mittens;
  • a blanket or sleeping bag
  • suitable winter footwear
  • First aid kit
  • Jump leads
  • Food and a warm drink in a thermos
  • A shovel
  • Reflective warning sign
  • Sunglasses - low winter sun can be dazzling
  • A map for any unplanned diversions
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Invest in a high intensity pocket strobe light to attract attention.

Make your vehicle safe for winter

Carry out a few simple safety checks of your vehicle in preparation for driving in difficult conditions. This will ensure that your vehicle is in good working order and aid your journey.

  • Ensure your vehicle has suitable anti-freeze added to its radiator and low-freezing screen-wash to the washer bottle
  • Check your vehicle's tyres - tread and pressure
  • Ensure that your vehicle is in good working order
  • Wash all lights and indicators frequently

Your Journey

During your journey

  • Ensure you have enough fuel for the journey, taking account of any potential delays
  • Tune into your local radio station for regular travel news updates
  • Use dipped headlights when driving during periods of rain, fog or snow
  • Ensure you take your car emergency kit

If you get stuck in snow or extreme cold in a remote area, you should do the following:

  • Pull off the road. Turn on hazard lights and if you have one, hang a distress flag from the radio aerial or window
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Only leave the car if buildings are nearby where you know you can take shelter. Distances can be hard to judge in blowing snow. A building may seem close but be too far to walk in deep snow, so bear this in mind
  • Run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a window slightly for ventilation to protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe
  • Do some exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid over-exertion. Huddle with passengers and use your coat as a blanket
  • Take turns sleeping, so you see the rescue crews
  • Drink fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Don't waste battery power, but at night if rescuers are nearby turn on the inside light so rescuers can see you A high intensity pocket strobe light would attract attention
  • Tune into your local radio station for regular travel news updates

Information on road and weather conditions is available from Traffic Scotland. Free Android and iPhone apps are available from the Traffic Scotland website provide the latest travel information.

Public Health and Travelling Abroad

If you are planning a trip abroad, you should see your GP, or practice nurse, at least eight weeks before you go. This will give you adequate time to discuss any vaccinations that you might need.

The vaccinations you need will depend on:

  • where you are travelling to,
  • any existing medical conditions that you have, and
  • any medication that you are already taking.

The NHS Dumfries and Galloway can provide more information on health related matters when travelling abroad.

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