The dangers of our roads in winter are well documented and whilst things have started mildly forecasters actually predict the coldest winter in decades, meaning we really do have to be prepared to drive in some risky conditions. Predicting the conditions in advance is becoming more difficult but there are some basic things you can do to ensure you’re ready for the extremes of British weather. The very basics you should be assured of, before setting off are:
- Correctly working windscreen wipes
- Topped up windscreen washer fluid
- Scraper and De-icer are in the car and ready to use
- Tyres are undamaged and the tread depth is a minimum of 2.5mm
- All your lights are working
- Your mobile phone, whilst not in use whilst driving, is fully charged and you have the number of your breakdown company logged
It is also more and more common that drivers keep a breakdown kit in their car, including high vis jacket, torch and even a shovel. It may seem extreme but the more organised you are, the better.
Winter Driving: The Stats
The past three years have seen prolonged periods of snowfall in the UK and this actually results in a fall in the number of road casualties as people are less likely to take to the roads. Accidents still happen and the weather does play a role I this with figures for 2012 from the Department of Transport suggesting 38 people died and 544 were seriously injured in reported road accidents where there was snow or ice on the road surface. There were also nearly 5000 cases of slight injury in the same circumstances.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and many road safety charities support the use of salt and grit on the roads as this helps make the roads less risky and though it is guaranteed it is possible to request road gritting for your road or area, if you believe it isn’t being carried out.
Staying Safe on the Roads
Road safety is important all year round but extra vigilance in the winter is an absolute must. Your safety and the safety of others on the road is important and if you do all you can to protect against accident and injury, then you can feel safe when out on the roads.
Road traffic accidents are a hugely traumatic and difficult experience for all of those involved and knowing you’ve done all you can to be safe can lessen the blow but also mean you may be entitled to compensation. If the accident wasn’t your fault and maybe down to the other driver or even issues with the road then you may be able to make a compensation claim. Contacting a professional specialised personal injury solicitors will give you an answer immediately as to whether you can make a claim.
Being careful in the colder months is absolutely essential for your safety and the safety of other road users.