Safe on the Roads

Posted on Dec 17, 2014

As winter approaches, weather conditions make it more important to plan and prepare when we are heading out on the roads. During the winter months, we are more likely to be affected by extreme conditions, including icy roads, fog, snow, torrential downpours. Even on a bright day, driving in the direction of the low lying sun can affect your ability to clearly see the road.

When the weather is at its worse, the first question is whether you really need to travel. Could your journey be delayed until conditions have been improved? If there is no other option, then it is important to be well prepared and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Vehicle Safety

At this time of year, it is important to ensure that your vehicle is in good working order. This can include checking your tyres have sufficient tread, ensuring your vehicle is topped up with a high quality screenwash and quickly dealing with any minor repairs or problems. Professional and highly experienced mechanics, such as those at Holmer Green Garage can provide high quality services and repairs to ensure your car is fit for the road.

Pre-Journey Preparations

Prior to making a journey in potentially hazardous conditions, ensure you have sufficient petrol or diesel in the tank, plan your route and allow additional time to make the journey. As the nights grow longer, it is also important that you can clearly see the road and other vehicles can see you. Keep your lights clean and replace any blown bulbs immediately. Even if you can see the road in the late afternoon or morning, having your lights on will make your car more visible to other drivers.

It is wise to ensure your phone is fully charged and that you have the contact details for your recovery service and the person or place you are travelling to. Having said this, never use your phone whilst you are driving; pull over in a safe place before making a call. You should also have warm clothes or blankets in your car, along with water and possibly something to eat in case you do get stuck.

On Route

Whilst driving, it can be advisable to keep your car radio tuned to a local radio station, which will give regular traffic reports. This can help you to avoid road closures or getting stuck in lengthy jams. Lengthy journeys can be tiring, especially after a long day at work or when you have children in the car. Although you will be keen to get home as soon as possible, taking a break can help to keep you alert when driving. Take time to stop at a service station for a blast of cold air, a toilet stop and a drink.

Don’t be a Statistic

According to the Department of Transport, road traffic between July and September this year has increased 2.2% on the same period in 2013. Motorway traffic is at a record high with 16.3billion miles being driven in this three month period. As a result, the number of injuries and fatalities on UK roads has also risen. 24,580 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads between July 2013 and June 2014, which is a 4% increase on the previous year.

By ensuring your car is fit for the road and being well prepared for your journey and the weather conditions, you can significantly increase the chance that you and your family will safely reach your destinations.