During prolonged periods of snow the overall number of road accidents tends to fall simply because less people are on the roads. However, it’s not just snow and ice during the winter months that can be hazardous to motorists and whatever the winter weather they are urged to adapt the way in which they drive.
Advice For Driving In Winter Weather
There is plenty of advice available to both driver and vehicle for winter weather to ensure a safe journey, whether driving in snow or ice, rain, fog, strong winds and low sunshine.
Maintaining your vehicle is important at any time of the year but more so during the winter weather. Regular checks include:
- Checking that tyres are in good condition and that they have a tread depth of at least 3mm
- Checking that there is anti-freeze in the radiator and screen wash in the windscreen washer bottle
- Keeping an ice-scraper or de-icer in the vehicle at all times
- Ensuring that your phone is well-charged in case of an emergency
- Checking the car battery
- Clearing ice/snow/condensation completely from the windscreen before setting off
- Making sure that headlights are working properly and are kept clean
To reduce the risk of injury there are of course simple steps that can be followed, such as:
- Reduce speed
- Maintain a safe gap behind the vehicle in front
- Be aware of other road users and look out for signs warning of hazards
- Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
- Be seen – use lights when visibility is reduced
In high winds take extra care, slow down and maintain a steady course. Be aware of motorcycles and high sided vehicles.
The best advice is to avoid driving into flood waters as drivers can easily become trapped by rising flood water. A driver can easily lose control in a small amount of water and avoid driving in treacherous conditions, if, at all possible, but if driving cannot be avoided it is sensible to be well prepared, to ensure your vehicle is well maintained and to follow simple steps to reduce the risk of injury.
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