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24 February 2016 The Winter Driving Guide: tips on improving safety on British roads for motorists

With the winter season comes potentially hazardous driving conditions. We’ve come up with the following tips to ensure you reduce the risks and get from one destination to another safely.

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Maintain your vehicle

This should be a priority throughout the year, but it is especially important during winter. Check all aspects of the car – from the screen wash, engine coolant and oil levels to the windscreen wiper blades, lights and tyres.

Improve your vision

You risk being pulled over and fined if you fail to ensure your car is clear from obstructions. Maintaining your windows and windscreen from the inside of the car as well as the outside will improve vision and allow for optimum safety whilst driving.

Avoid driving the car if your vision is restricted, such as when the glass is frozen. It can be tempting to just let the car defrost as you are driving, especially if you are running late, but it isn’t worth the risk to yourself and other motorists. Instead, get up earlier and allow yourself around 10 minutes to prepare the car before you leave.

Plan your journey

Variable factors such as traffic and weather determine the course of your journey, so it’s important to check to see if there are any problems or disruptions with your chosen route before you set off. Rather than taking shortcuts or the fastest route, aim to stick to major roads as they tend to have been cleared and gritted during the winter period.    

Stay informed with live travel and weather updates on the radio, and inform others of your expected arrival time where possible.

Slow your speed

Speeding during harsh weather conditions will further affect your ability to stop and steer. Allow more time for your journey than usual, taking the weather conditions into consideration. It is vital that you pay attention to the variable speed limits, especially on major roads.

When approaching a speed camera, refrain from “camera surfing”, as the process of harsh breaking before speeding up again reduces your ability to control the car in an emergency. Ensure that you stick to the speed limit, and remain perceptive to signs that show a change in the limit or show that an area is monitored with traffic cameras. The speed limit will be based on a variety of important factors such as the traffic flow, weather conditions, and overall safety precautions for motorists.

Applying these crucial tips will make a big difference to not only your personal road safety as a motorist, but the safety of other road users as well.

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