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16 Jan 2020
Safe Driving in Bad Weather
We need a few extra spells to protect us from the effects of wind, rain, snow and ice at this time of year. When your business involves a lot of travelling on the roads it’s important to make sure you have all the right ingredients for safe driving.
Here are some things to think about when you’re out and about.
Depending on the weather, you need to make sure you have the right footwear. Should you be concerned about wearing winter shoes or boots when you’re driving?
You might want to think about keeping some driving shoes in your vehicle. The Highway Code says you should make sure your ‘clothing and footwear do not prevent you using controls in the correct manner’, so you might need to exchange your big boots or slippery soles for something more practical.
The deeper tread and softer compound of winter tyres will help to cut through water and snow to improve contact with the road. Most UK insurance providers have signed up to the Association of British Insurers’ commitment for winter tyres, recognising their safety benefits. However, some insurance companies might consider winter tyres to be a modification, so it’s worth checking before you use them, as this could increase how many gold pieces you need to pay.
Did you know that you could be fined if you leave your engine idling to defrost your windscreen while your vehicle is stationary? Although less than 500 penalties have been issued in England and Wales in the last four years, the government says it plans to toughen up on the rules.
However, it’s important to make sure that snow, ice and condensation are cleared from your windows before you set off. If your windscreen isn’t clear, the police can fine you £60. The RAC gives some helpful hints to keep your winter windscreens clear.
Remember to remove snow from the roof of your vehicle because you could be fined for driving without due consideration if it falls onto your windscreen or into the path of another vehicle.
Darkness on the edge of town
During the short days at this time of year, many of us will need to face the demons in the dark while we’re driving. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says 40% of collisions on the road happen when it’s dark.
Reduced visibility, pedestrians that are hard to see, and changes from roads with streetlights to areas with little or no lighting can all add to the risks of driving at night, especially when the weather is bad. There are 20% more motorway mishaps after dark in snowy or icy conditions, according to the Department for Transport.
Don’t be distracted
It’s important that your full attention is on your driving at any time of year but, with the added challenges of winter conditions, it’s especially important.
While we all know that we shouldn’t use hand-held phones while we’re driving, even speaking on a hands-free phone synced to your vehicle or a Bluetooth device will distract you for up to five minutes after the call has ended. While you are speaking on the phone you are more likely to miss road signs, ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front and you might take longer to brake.
While we can’t provide you with a lucky charm to protect you while you’re driving this winter, a Genie can take your calls while you’re driving, so you can keep all your attention on the water sprites, wicked winds and ice imps.
Send us a magic missive or conjure up a call and we’ll be happy to help.
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