In part one we began to look at some of the ways in which you can keep yourself and other road users safe during the cold winter months and the festive season. Driving at night is never fun, but we gave you several tips to help you to feel safer and more confident on journeys after dark. The festive season often means busier roads and more congestion than usual; we gave you a few helpful tips to avoid road rage and get to your destination safely.
If you’ve not read part one, you can do so here; and if you’ve already read it, keep reading as we help you to stay safe during adverse weather conditions and the temptation of the office party…
Adverse weather conditions
The festive season tends to go hand in hand with adverse winter weather conditions. Snow, ice, fog, hail, heavy rain, and strong winds all make driving more difficult than usual. The key is to understand how these weather conditions will impact your control over your vehicle, and adjust your driving style accordingly:
- Rain: Even in light rain the road surface is more wet and slippery than usual, so it’s important to drive at a safe speed and allow extra time and space for braking to avoid skidding. Heavy rain can affect visibility so make sure you use your wipers on the correct setting and put your sidelights on so that other road users can see you.
- Fog: They don’t call them ‘fog lights’ for nothing, you know! When it’s foggy outside make sure your fog lights are turned on so that other road users can see you more clearly. Even the thinnest fog can affect your visibility of the road so monitor your speed and don’t go too fast.
- Ice and snow: Ice is not always visible; it could be black ice, or it could be obscured by snow that has fallen on top of it. The best way to cope with icy, slippery roads is to drive slowly and gently using a high gear and low revs. Avoid braking or accelerating harshly as this can cause your ABS to lock up and make you lose control of your vehicle.
None for the road
At this time of year road safety organisations begin their campaigns to warn people of the dangers of drink driving. Although the police are vigilant to the problem throughout the year, incidences of driving under the influence of drink and drugs seem to peak during the festive season. Driving your vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking drugs not only endangers your life, but the lives of other road users too.
- If you’re going to a party this Christmas either leave your car at home and take a taxi, or have a designated driver who stays sober for the night. Even if you think you feel ok after a drink or two your judgement will still be affected!
- After a heavy night of drinking you may wake up in the morning with enough alcohol left in your blood to put you over the legal drink driving limit. If you know you’re going to drink alcohol in the evening then make alternative transport arrangements for the following day. It’s never worth risking it!