Car in Snow

Winter driving tips

27th January 2020

Winter can be a precarious time of year for car drivers, accidents increase as road conditions worsen due to the adverse weather conditions and shorter hours of daylight. Though claims can be pursued if you are involved in an accident which isn’t your fault, and in some circumstances, claims can be taken against local Councils, it is better for everyone if they can be avoided in the first place. For that reason, we have put together our top ten tips for keeping safe on the roads this winter:

  1. Have a winter car check – a winter check will give you peace of mind that your car is in good working condition. It will check things like your brakes, windscreen wipers, and tyres.
  2. Keep a blanket, water, and some snacks in your car in case you do get stranded due to poor weather conditions. Ensure you can always keep warm, fed, and watered whatever happens.
  3. Before leaving home check if there are any weather warnings in place, if there are consider if your journey is really necessary.
  4. Drive to the conditions – if it is very wet or icy ensure you leave a bigger distance between you are the car in front. If you have to stop suddenly you need space to do this. Stopping distances are at least doubled in wet weather and multiplied by ten in ice and snowy weather. If the weather is very windy be aware there may be debris in the road ahead.
  5. Keep your speed down – the faster you drive the longer it will take to stop and in wet and icy conditions the roads may be very slippery. If you are driving too fast you can very quickly lose control of the vehicle, even with the slightest touch of the brakes.
  6. Ensure you have enough fuel – it’s very easy to push on when the low fuel light comes on, however it’s a good idea to always have enough fuel in case you get stuck for a considerable time and need to keep your heating running.
  7. If your car is frozen clear all windscreens and windows properly before setting off so you have full visibility.
  8. Don’t be tempted to drive through flood water – we’ve all seen those images of cars broken down as the water seeps in!
  9. Be aware of what is around you, too often accidents are caused due to a lack in concentration – don’t get behind the wheel if you are tired.
  10. Data shows there are spikes in accidents when the clocks turn back resulting in drivers being more likely to have to drive in the dark. Be sure your headlights work and don’t stare at oncoming headlights, use your full beams sensibly and don’t blind other drivers.

Accidents will sadly happen no matter what precautions are taken but hopefully we can reduce them by using a bit of common sense, there’s no point in driving fast if at the end of the day you never reach your destination.

If you are unfortunate to have been involved in an accident and would like some legal advice you can contact our team here, email  or call 01392 424242.