As of the 29th of October, the clocks went back meaning it will now become much darker much earlier. This also means that staying safe when travelling will need that bit more care and attention. The winter invariably means that more of us will be on the road when it’s darker, colder and slipperier. This post will help put you in the right direction for when those cold winter nights set in.
1. Clear your field of vision
A lower sun is a nightmare for your visibility, irrespective of whether you are in the passenger or driver’s seat. Freezing weather and damp roads exacerbate this, making it incredibly challenging to spot hazards. To prevent stacking the odds further against you, allow extra time for your car to completely demist, then check the glass is clean, and also make sure all ice and snow has been removed from the body of your vehicle.
2. Check your lights
Ensure that all your lights are working, but to be extra safe get someone to watch from outside the car as you check all your lights. Check the headlights, indicators, brake lights and reverse lights. If any fail to work, it could mean a cyclist or pedestrian would fail to see you slowing, turning or coming towards them. Seeing and being seen are crucial at all times but especially in dark winter nights.
3. Beware of slippery roads
Be aware that winter conditions change the road surface and make any manoeuvre more difficult to execute. Ensure your speed matches the conditions and watch out for cyclists and pedestrians on slippery surfaces, particularly at corners.
4. Take your time
In full daylight you may just take quick glance to check that a cyclist isn’t coming but in the low light conditions of winter mornings and evenings extend this time to be completely sure that pulling out of a side road won’t cause an accident.
5. Take note of danger points on your journey
Some junctions can be worse than others for spotting people so be aware of problem places on your route and take extra care. If you’re travelling up a road and attempting to take a right turn, be wary of cyclists coming up the side of your car or from behind oncoming traffic.