Winter driving – Top tips on road safety.

By Emma Drew

October 23, 2015

Winter driving – Top tips on road safety.

The clocks turn back one hour on Sunday 25th October, marking the end of the British Summer Time and as the darker nights draw in and weather conditions become more adverse, the need for road safety is ever more paramount.

During this time of year, insurers report a higher increase in vehicle breakdowns, accidents and motor insurance claims.

A sudden drop in weather temperatures could see you waking up to frozen windscreens, slippery road surfaces and treacherous driving conditions. It is imperative to take extra precautions this time of year. Follow our: –

Top tips on staying safe for winter driving:

  • Service your vehicle and have safety checks carried out
  • Make sure your window wipers are working correctly and the washer reserve is well topped up; it is an illegal offence to allow it to run out
  • Check your vehicle has sufficient anti-freeze levels
  • Keep a de-icer spray or a scraper inside your car
  • Check tyres are inflated to the legal requirement and always carry a spare tyre (or a manufacturer’s recommended sealant)
  • Test your vehicle lights are working and are clearly visible in the dark
  • Regularly clean your head lights and tail lamps and carry a spare set of light bulbs
  • Remember to turn your lights on, even if it isn’t fully dark, since most reported accidents occur between late afternoon and early evening
  • Switch off your reading light and reduce your dashboard lights for better road visibility
  • Avert your eyes from bright oncoming headlights which could distort your vision; in return dip your own headlights
  • Book an eye test to ensure your sight can adapt well to the lower levels of light
  • Reduce your speed where possible, especially on narrow lanes
  • Allow enough space between you and the vehicle in front
  • Check the weather forecast for any severe weather warnings and only take your journey if it is absolutely necessary
  • Clean your windscreen regularly both on the inside and outside to prevent a build-up of grease and residue caused by low sun; apply the same practice to your exterior and back mirrors (Note: it is far more effective to clean your mirrors with paper than a cloth)
  • Be extra vigilant than usual when driving in dark conditions
  • Take special precaution when you are driving near to a school with children nearby
  • Use your mirrors regularly to check for pedestrians and cyclists who may be wearing dark clothing
  • On a long journey, stop regularly for breaks to rest your eyes and retain your concentration

What happens if my vehicle breaks down?
If your vehicle does happen to break down when driving in dark conditions, try to find a safe place to stop; leave your hazard lights on or display a warning triangle to notify other drivers and stand at a safe distance away from the broken down vehicle as you wait for assistance. Should such an incident occur, it is advisable to be as prepared as possible; therefore, make sure you have a warm coat or blanket in your car, a torch and a bottle of water to stay hydrated while waiting for break down cover to arrive.

Following these precautionary tips could help prevent an accident from occurring and keep you safe when driving this winter.

How can we help?

For further information on motor insurance please email Private Clients or call on 0121 698 8070.

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