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7 Dec 2011

It’s that time of the year again – roasted chestnuts, Jack Frost nipping at your nose and treacherous, icy roads. Harsh winter weather combined with road maintenance budget cuts make for the worst UK road conditions in decades, but there are simple steps that you can take to keep your journeys that much safer.

Be sure to check the weather forecast before you travel and know what you’re heading in to. Take extra precautions where bad conditions are predicted.

Speaking of wintery drinks, stay off of the spiked eggnog and mulled wine at the weekend if you’re heading out early on Monday. Even one drink can alter your ability to drive and the remnants of a heavy Christmas party can stay in your system until late the next day and this is doubtlessly a time where you should be safe rather than sorry.

Consider your driving style in icy conditions. Even the most cautious and considerate drivers should leave extra room (ten times the usual distance is recommended by the IAM) when travelling behind other vehicles, decrease your speed and brake earlier than usual. Take extra care when traversing places that freeze first such as bridges and rural roads and be wary of oversteering and revving your engine. Diesel drivers should also leave their engines running for ten minutes before setting off, to let engine heat warm the fuel, filter and pipes.

Your vehicle should be prepared before the off – anti-freeze in your washer fluid, wipers and tyres checked and windows cleaned. It’s a good idea to give your locks a squirt of WD-40 so that you don’t get stuck in or out! You should also carry an emergency kit in your vehicle containing essentials such as food and water, warm clothing, de-icing equipment, a shovel, map and a charged mobile phone. Be sure to let a colleague know if you take an alternate route and tell a family member or friend when you’re expected to arrive home.

Finally, one of the best tips that we can pass on is to use your common sense.

Hopefully the tips that we’ve provided above will help you to do so! Have a safe and enjoyable winter.


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