Published On: Wed, Dec 23rd, 2015

Winter Weather Car Accidents Set To Rise, Warn RoSPA

As we winter season begins, so does the rise of vehicle accidents. At least, that’s what RoSPA has warned. The unusually mild winter weather is leading to motorists being over-confident with their driving.

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Nick Lloyd, head of road safety, says the warmer weather is likely to make drivers complacent. The government also tells us that, statistically, more accidents occur in “good” driving conditions. As you can imagine, that all doesn’t sound like good news for people driving in milder winter weather.

So, what can we all do to make sure that we don’t become another statistic? The following is a list of guidance offered from various sources including RoSPA:

Make sure your car is ready for your next journey

The thing about winter is that it can sometimes be hard to predict what the weather will be like. Yes, it might be mild at the moment. But, in a few days, you might have to deal with snow blizzards! Regardless of the conditions, you need to make sure your car is safe to drive.

Here are some tips that you can follow to prepare your car for its next journey:

  • Clean the exterior lights of your car and make sure all the bulbs are working;
  • Replace the wiper blades if they are faulty;
  • Make sure your battery has a full charge. Use a digital multimeter to check it’s not less than 12.6v. You can use a battery charger if you need a charge;
  • Your vital engine fluids, including screen wash, should get topped up. Keep some spare screen wash in a bottle in your car just in case.

Change your tyres

You might not realise it, but many cars only have “summer” tyres on the wheels. Yes, they may offer excellent grip in dry conditions. But, they could be useless on icy roads!

You should consider swapping them out for some Goodyear tyres designed for winter use. Some people find it easier to buy a second set of wheels for their car and fit the winter tyres to them.

Pack an emergency kit for your car

If you’ve followed the above tips, you should be OK to drive in many challenging conditions. But, it’s recommended you pack an emergency “kit” for your car.

In a nutshell, this is where you have a variety of useful tools and equipment for use in emergencies. The types of things in your kit should include:

  • Foldable snow shovel;
  • High-visibility jacket;
  • LED torch with spare batteries;
  • Wellington boots;
  • First Aid kit;
  • A blanket to keep you warm in case your car breaks down;
  • De-icing equipment (scrapers and sprays); and
  • Some food and drink rations (i.e. bottled water and snacks).

Assess the weather conditions before you leave

Last, but not least, check how bad the weather might get BEFORE you set off. If it’s not recommended to drive, you should stay at home and wait until conditions improve.

The last thing you want to do is go on a journey where you are likely to break down, have an accident or get stranded.