Stay safe this winter
The clocks have now gone back which means winter is fast approaching and there will be less daylight. It’s very important to stay safe on the roads, especially when there’s bad weather such as heavy rain, snow and ice. The Highway Code changed in January, so make sure you are familiar with the changes. Follow the link at the end of this article to get the updated information.
If you drive, watch out for walkers, cyclists and kids going to/from school in the dark. Poor driving conditions caused by bad winter weather include reduced visibility, increased chance of skidding and an increase in stopping distance. On average, there is a 25% increase in the number of car insurance claims made in November compared with April – which sees the lowest number of accident claims on average.
If you’re walking or cycling in the dark, wearing bright or reflective clothing can help make sure that you are easy to spot.
Weather warnings are very important too and can be issued and removed quickly. While yellow warnings are more common, amber and red are not and mean danger to life. If an area you’re in or going to has a weather warning, consider the length of the journey and whether it’s necessary.
Top tips to get your car ready for the winter months:
- Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order.
- Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure.
- Prepare an emergency kit. Pack a snow/ice scraper, de-icer, snow shovel, hat, gloves, boots, a torch, bottle of water and a first aid kit in the boot.
- Wash the car frequently to get rid of the salt and dirt that builds up over the winter.
- Always keep a full tank of fuel – you never know when you might get delayed.
- Don’t use water to defrost the windows.
- Read our Winter Service Plan.
Highway Code changes
Firstly, what is the Highway Code? In a nutshell, the Highway Code is a rule book for all road users, including pedestrians, mobility scooter users, cyclists, horse riders, drivers and motorcyclists. The Highway Code changed earlier this year, take a look at our overview of the changes.
The new proposals are set to change the ‘hierarchy’ of road users. This gives more priority to pedestrians and makes sure those with the potential to cause the most harm look out for more vulnerable users. In total, ten sections of the Highway Code have changed, with 50 rules being added or updated. For more detailed information about the Highway Code changes, please visit the government website.