Driving On Snowy Days

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Being able to drive gives you a great sense of freedom, but also puts a lot of responsibility upon your shoulders. You’re not only responsible for yourself but for the vehicle you’re in, your passengers, pedestrians and other drivers to a certain extent too.

Cars are pretty easy to maintain during nicer weather but during those cold, snowy, icy days your car becomes a bigger responsibility. So I thought I’d share some cold weather tips with you from The RAC about driving in snowy conditions:

  • Wear comfortable and dry footwear
  • Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible
  • Move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip – some cars have a winter mode, which does the same job – so to check whether your car has this function in the vehicle’s handbook
  • Get your speed right and maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front, leaving as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap
  • Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear
  • Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary, make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front
  • When approaching a bend, brake before you actually start to turn the steering wheel. If your car does lose grip try not to panic; the key thing is to take your foot off the accelerator and make sure that your wheels are pointing in the direction you want to go in
  • If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it – for example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, steer to the right. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes
  • When driving in heavy snow, make sure that you use your dipped headlights. Relying on daytime running lights is not enough, because they don’t always put lights on the back of your car.
  • If visibility drops below a 100m, put your fog lights on. But remember to turn them off when the visibility improves.
  • If the road has not been gritted, be wary of driving in the wheeltracks or other vehicles as compressed snow is likely to be more icy than fresh snow
  • Controls such as the brakes, as well as the steering, accelerator and even gear changing should be operated smoothly and slowly
  • Sunglasses can help to reduce the glare of low winter sun on the snow
  • Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer
  • Finally, it’s important to think about the environment that you’re driving in, especially microclimates that might appear on the road. These are areas that perhaps the sun hasn’t got to, which could stay icy when the rest of the road has thawed. Bridges are a good example. They’re normally the first to freeze and the last to thaw. So be aware of that when you’re driving in open spaces.

It’s also a good idea to pack some emergency blankets in your boot and may some water and durable food. It’s always better to be over prepared when driving in snowy conditions. And don’t forget a snow shovel and some gloves!

The weather here at the moment is so cold, snowy, icy and windy. There are amber and red alerts throughout the country so if you’re in the UK please be careful and listen to the above advice.

Do you have any top tips for driving in the snow? We’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

This weekend we were extremely honoured to be invited to visit the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham to explore their Ancient Oceans event. We love the Sea Life Centre, and it never ceases to amaze us, so with the added lure of Dinosaur Detection it was a great day out.

The Ancient Oceans event is running until 21st February, and takes you back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the land, and fearsome creatures lurked in the depths of the bubbly blue. There are challenges to complete and secrets to discover which can be exchanged for a Dinosaur Detective certificate at the end, plus a Sea Life Centre medal. There are lots of different activities going on during the event, and you’re also given a timetable for the centre at the admissions desk.

One of our challenges was to keep a look out for seven bones as we made our way around the centre. We had a sheet with the bones on and a sheet of numbered stickers to add on once we discovered them on the  journey around. My two boys (three if I include my husband) loved this.

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Our first port of call was the penguins. There is a big wall of frost and ice as you reach the penguins, and my boys love leaving their handprints on there, it’s a lovely way for the children to get a full-on sensory experience. The penguins always amaze my children, and being able to see them both on land and in the water is fascinating.

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As you make your way around the centre there is always something to look at. The floor to ceiling fish tank is amazing, and always captivates my three year old. There is also a rock pool area where you can get hands on with some sea creatures. My boys are usually too anxious to touch any of the sea creatures, but this time they decided beforehand they were going to be brave and touch a starfish, and my 5yo carried out his plans, the 3yo ran a mile.

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The coral cave also captured the attention of my children, it was so lovely being able to get so close to the fish, even this yellow fellow below!

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The Sea Life Centre has really taken interaction on-board in it’s structure. A favourite part for us was the Starfish area, my boys loved this. It’s a fantastic way to get up close and personal with these sea creatures. There are pop up domes to stand under, tunnels to climb through, and portholes to look through. They really enjoyed this part.

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The jelly fish are another part my boys loved. It’s great being able to get so close.

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During the Ancient Oceans event there are activities in a small room by the otter enclosure.  My boys loved discovering dinosaur fossils, and as a reward they were given a real shark tooth! These teeth are now their pride and joy!

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There are several fun interactive boards around the centre too, this one was a big hit with my 3yo!

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The 360 degrees Oceanic Tunnel is amazing at the Sea Life Centre. It’s such a wonderful experience, and my children and I are always amazed. They always look out for the giant sea turtle too!

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And, of course, at the end there is a mini soft play for the kiddies that always ends our trip well!

Up close with sea star at Sea Life Birmingham

Thanks for another great day out National Sea Life Centre Birmingham, we’ll definitely be back soon!