Over the years many of us will have seen the disruption that winter road conditions can cause. And unless we want to be another road traffic accident statistic leading to a personal injury, we must learn to adapt the way we drive.
As well as the main hazards of snow and ice, winter also brings fog, strong winds and low sunshine which can be just as dangerous to drive in. When these conditions present themselves fewer people will take to the roads but despite this reduction we do see an increase in the number of injuries and fatalities on the roads especially when snow and ice are a factor.
RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) offers winter driving advice with suggestions on how to prepare yourself and your vehicle as well as supporting the use of salt and grit especially on primary road routes. It is the responsibility of the local council to clear the primary road routes of snow and ice but unfortunately all too often they are not adequately or entirely gritted, still leaving the roads treacherous. An authority can be claimed against if you are injured on an untreated primary route if it can be shown that it was through no fault of your own.
Here are some tips that we’ve put together to help you when driving in adverse wintry conditions:
- Consider whether it is safe to set off – check the local radio stations for latest updates
- Check your tyre pressures, anti-freeze levels, petrol levels and make sure the battery is in good working order
- Ensure that your windscreens and headlights are clear of snow and ice and clear the roof of any snow since this could slip down onto your windscreen whilst driving and obscure your vision
- Leave plenty of time to reach your destination – it will almost certainly take you longer than usual
- Keep a check on your speed and adjust braking distances considerably if the roads are icy.
- No matter how carefully you are driving you must consider the other drivers around you that might not be so alert or vigilant.
- Inform someone of where you are going and the timings involved
- Keep a shovel and warm blankets in your car in case the conditions become worse that you had anticipated
If you are involved in an accident you should try to take some photos of the accident scene and write down at the earliest stage an accurate account of what happened. Should you need to make a claim this will help with your case.
If despite following the safety tips above you are involved in an accident and require legal assistance then contact our experienced team at Hilary Meredith Solicitors who will work to obtain the best possible outcome for your winter road accident compensation claim.