Road Safety week ended on Sunday so we are taking the opportunity to follow this national campaign with a series of driving tips aimed at keeping everyone safe on the roads this winter. Below are some of our top winter driving tips for ensuring that your vehicle is in the best possible shape to drive in winter conditions:
National Windscreens warns drivers to get small windscreen chips repaired quickly. Freezing temperatures increase the likelihood of this damage turning into a crack, which results in the need for a windscreen replacement. Never try defrosting your windscreen using hot water!
Remember, if a windscreen needs replacing and your vehicle has Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted, the equipment must be calibrated to ensure these safety systems continue to work as intended. Getting a chip in the windscreen repaired can be up to 10 times less expensive than replacement and calibration combined, so act promptly to save time and money.
Wipers and Washer Fluid
Driving without full visibility is both illegal and dangerous, for you and other drivers. De-icing correctly and checking your washer is topped up ensures a clean, clear windscreen and windows, which subsequently helps visibility. Make sure the wiper blades are clean, to prevent smears and damage from debris.
It should go without saying, but especially before longer trips, check that you have enough fuel or charge to get to where you’re going, and plan for stops to refuel or recharge en route. You don’t want to get stuck on the motorway in the cold.
Ensure all your car’s exterior lights are operational; everything from the headlights to indicators and even the number plate. During the winter, heaters, de-misters and lights are used more, causing strain on the battery. Cold weather can also have an adverse effect on batteries, making them less efficient. Keep an eye on your battery, make sure you switch everything off after your journey and consider investing in a battery charger just in case.
Always make sure your tyres are at the right pressures and have sufficient tread depth. In winter, as the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your tyres. It may be worth fitting winter tyres, which are manufactured with deeper treads and softer rubber, to deal with the colder temperature.
Taking responsibility for your vehicle will help to ensure the safety of the other road users around you. Together, we can all make a significant impact in the prevention of accidents.
There are several national initiatives aimed at making motorists and pedestrians more aware of how to stay safe on the roads and we are keen to play our part in helping get this message to as wide an audience as possible, so we have featured a couple of these below.
The annual campaign, which ends on 20th November, is organised by Brake, the road safety charity. Brake is a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone.
Road Safety Week also supports the Department for Transport's Think! campaign. This is promoting a theme of “Travel like you know them” as part of generating awareness for the new Highway Code rules. They also produce a handy guide to help road users to stay safe on the roads, including advice on what to check before you drive, covering:
- Tyre tread
- Tyre pressure
- Fuel level
- Oil level
- Water level
Each year thousands of schools, organisations and communities get involved to share important road safety messages. The theme of Road Safety Week 2022 is 'safe roads for all' and individuals or organisations can sign up to get involved here: https://www.brake.org.uk/road-safety-week.
You can download our winter driving tips in PDF format here.