Our top tips for safe winter driving

One of the things that causes congestion on our roads is bad weather – and in some cases, poor preparation for that bad weather. As seasoned traffic survey specialists, we understand how bad weather can affect journey times, increase the risk of accidents and cause significant traffic problems on the roads.

We work alongside councils, planners and developers to help create safer ways of travelling, so as we head into winter, here are our top tips for driving safely in cold and potentially dangerous weather.

Check before you leave

There are some checks you should perform on a regular basis – particularly if you are driving an internal combustion engine vehicle. Make sure your oil is topped up, and that you have plenty of screenwash – carry some extra supplies in your car, as you always use more screenwash when snow or ice are being blown onto your car. The same applies to coolant. You should also check that all your lights are working properly – including your fog lights. It’s also worth making sure that your wiper blades are clean and free from splits or damage.

Be prepared for the cold

The best advice is not to go out at all if the weather is particularly bad. But if you can’t avoid it, make sure your car is packed with the things you’ll need if you get stuck on the roads. That includes a spade or shovel in case you need to dig your vehicle out of snow. It’s also wise to have blankets and warm clothes, and to take some water and food in case you need it.

Winter tyres

In snowy and icy conditions, your tyres need to be able to grip the surface. So make sure your tyres have the right tread depth and are properly inflated. You may also want to change to winter tyres, or use snow chains to help you grip more easily.

Driving approach

Remember that traffic is likely to be slower in bad weather, and that slippy road surfaces mean it will take longer to stop. Drive more slowly, leave plenty of room between you and the car in front, carry your first aid kit and warning triangle in case you have an accident and don’t get impatient.

At Road Data Services, we are on the roads all year round, carrying out traffic surveys, parking surveys, ATC surveys and more. Our precise data insights help planners, developers and communities to make better traffic planning choices. To find out more, contact us today.

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