Tips for driving safely in winter

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Driving in winter can be dangerous with the changeable weather and its effect on road conditions. Be safe and seen on the road and follow our tips for driving safely in winter.

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Be prepared

If you’re working on the road it’s impossible to avoid the British winter weather, so make like a boy scout and be prepared. Stock your vehicle with items you might need if you are stuck, especially for some time. Make sure you have things that could help if you become stranded, as well as items to keep you comfortable and warm. Provisions, food and drink would be advisable as well as a blanket or duvet should you need it. Make sure your mobile phone is charged and even keep a charger in your vehicle. Keep high visibility clothing in the vehicle. Have information you might need handy, such as a breakdown service or search and rescue.

Check your vehicle is safe

Make sure your vehicle is prepared for inclement weather too. Check your tyre treads and pressure, ensure your windscreen wash is full – even keep some spare in your car or van – and check your oil and water levels. Winter means longer hours of darkness, so make sure all of your lights are in full working order. Check your windscreen wipers are in a good condition for heavy rain, should it occur.

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Ensure your vehicle is safety compliant particularly if your vehicle will be stopping on a road for works or inspection purposes, ensuring you’re compliant with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual. Chapter 8 says that all vehicles stopping on the highway, on high-speed roads, for works purposes or inspections shall be equipped with high visibility rear markings – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203670/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-08-part-02.pdf. Chapter 8 chevrons can be applied to any vehicle and there are specialist companies that will help you adhere to the regulations, such as https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/.

Drive safely

Drive to the weather conditions rather than the speed limit of the roads and maintain a good stopping distance, be aware of your surroundings and the conditions of the road and the weather. If the roads are wet with rain or snow make sure you set off slowly. If there’s fog use your fog lights correctly.

The British winter weather can be unpredictable so make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for any eventuality.

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