With the weather expected to take a turn for the worse towards the end of the year, we have put together a winter driving guide to help you and your employees stay safe on the roads.
Driving in poor weather conditions can be difficult and requires a high level of concentration, experience and skill. It is essential that you and your employees are confident in driving in poor weather, also that your car has been checked and safe to drive. Before setting out on any journey where poor weather is forecast it is essential that you listen to local radio reports, or find out about road conditions from various sources, and whether your journey is essential.
Tip – Check the latest weather forecast before you leave by listening to TV or radio or checking websites such as: metoffice.gov.uk
Poor weather conditions can seriously impact your journey, affecting how long it will take, when and how you choose to travel and which route you take. Ask yourself – do you need to travel? is it safe to do so? is your vehicle prepared for the journey?
DID YOU KNOW?
Rule 123 of the Highway Code states that:
- You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.
You could receive a £20 fixed penalty if caught with the engine idling while you defrost windows
Rule 229 of the Highway Code states that:
- You must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all windows
- Before you set off remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
If your vehicles windscreen is obstructed, your view will be compromised, and you could find yourself receiving a fine of £60 from a police officer.
DRIVING IN ADVERSE WEATHER GUIDELINES
We experience a wide range of weather conditions, that can change quickly in the UK, therefore we need to be ready to adjust our driving to suit the conditions.
- Clear ice and snow from your vehicle and demist the windows, don’t forget to clear snow from headlights and number plates.
- On slippery surfaces, drive slowly using the highest possible gear. Avoid sudden actions – braking, sharp turns or speeding up.
- If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator and do not brake suddenly.
Remember – It can take ten times longer to stop if roads are slippery.
- Slow down and use dipped headlights.
- Use fog lights if visibility is seriously reduced, remember to switch them off when it clears.
- Don’t follow the rear lights of a vehicle in front, you could be too close, and you’ll not have enough space between you and the vehicle in front to be able to brake safely in an emergency.
- Slow down – it takes longer to stop, and spray will affect your visibility.
- Turn your air conditioning on – this will help prevent your windows from misting up
- Don’t drive through deep lying surface water. If you have to, slow right down and drive through in first gear. Test your brakes when you come out the other side.
- Be considerate of pedestrians, driving through puddles and ‘soaking’ pedestrians, could result in a fine of up to £5000 (Section 3 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988)
- High-sided vehicles are most affected by strong winds, strong gusts can blow a car, cyclist or motorcyclist off course.
- Keep well back and overtake with care
As an extension to our popular advanced/defensive driving courses, Safedrive offers a bespoke winter driving course, which is available all year round, but is particularly popular from the months of September to February.
Safedrive’s winter driving course is designed to help attendees become safer and more skilful drivers in adverse weather conditions, which are found in winter.