Advertisement

Winter safety tips for motorists driving now the clocks have gone back

The clocks went back on October 29 and we’re driving more in the dark. Protect cyclists and pedestrians with these winter road safety tips

Cyclist winter

Now the clocks  have gone back, the difference in time means that a higher proportion of us will be on the roads in the dark. Which means, as the days grow colder and the roads get slippery, UK motorists are faced with more hazards than they saw during the previous summer months.

Cyclists rank top of the vulnerability list, often blending into the bleak surroundings making them incredibly hard to see. Low light and reflective road surfaces add to drivers’ troubles, making it difficult to see road users on both two and four wheels. The increased number of hazards is the reason for us collecting these top tips, so drivers can help ensure that they, their passengers and other road users stay safe in the dark days ahead.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Winter tyres test 2015

Top safety tips for motorists this winter

1. Clear your field of visionA lower sun is a nightmare for your visibility, irrespective of whether you are in the passenger or driver’s seat. Freezing weather and damp roads exacerbate this, making it incredibly challenging to spot hazards. To prevent stacking the odds further against you, allow extra time for your car to completely demist, then check the glass is clean, and also make sure all ice and snow has been removed from the body of your vehicle. Additionally, you are going to want to take a pair of sunglasses with you – a final prevention measure which can be a a real help.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

2. Check your lightsEnsure that all your lights are working. Ask someone to watch from outside the car as you check all your lights. Check the headlights, indicators, brake lights and reverse lights. If any fail to work, it could mean a cyclist would fail to see you slowing, turning or coming towards them. Seeing and being seen are crucial in the winter gloom.

Advertisement - Article continues below

3. Beware of slippery roadsBe aware that cold and damp conditions change the road surface and make any manouvre more treacherous. Ensure your speed matches the conditions and watch out for cyclists on slippery surfaces, particularly at corners. 

4. Take your timeTake more time at junctions. In full daylight you may just take quick glance to check that a cyclist isn’t coming but in the low light conditions of winter mornings and evenings extend this time to be completely sure that pulling out of a side road won’t cause an accident.

5. Take note of danger points on your journeySome junctions can be worse than others for spotting cyclists be aware of problem places on your route and take extra care. If you’re travelling up a road and attempting to take a right turn, be wary of cyclists coming up the side of your car or from behind oncoming traffic.

The basics of safe driving like preparing your vehicle, using your observation skills and managing your speed become even more necessary as the nights draw in. Give yourself enough time and space, and drive to the conditions. Keep to these rules and all road users, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, will be safer for it.

Winter Special: stay safe on the roads this winter

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How to jump start a car
Winter Driving Special

How to jump start a car

Got a flat battery? This is how to jump start a car with jump leads or bump start it without them
1 Apr 2020
How to control understeer and oversteer in your car
BMW oversteer
Winter Driving Special

How to control understeer and oversteer in your car

Controlling a skid is something most drivers don't have to do often, but understanding understeer and oversteer is useful all the same
1 Apr 2020
How to avoid a flat car battery
Winter Driving Special

How to avoid a flat car battery

Car batteries can go flat for a number of reasons, which is why we have gathered these top tips to help prevent the worst happening
24 Mar 2020
What is aquaplaning and how to avoid it
Winter Driving Special

What is aquaplaning and how to avoid it

We look at aquaplaning what it means, how it affects your car and what to do if it happens to you
24 Mar 2020

Most Popular

New Tesla Model Y 2020 review
Tesla Model Y

New Tesla Model Y 2020 review

The new Tesla Model Y has the potential to be the EV brand’s most successful model yet
4 Jun 2020
New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition
Honda Civic Type R

New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition

The next Honda Civic Type R will grow in size, but it won’t use a hybrid powertrain. Our exclusive image previews how it could look
5 Jun 2020
New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car
BMW 4 Series

New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car

The new BMW 4 Series coupe has distanced itself from the 3 Series with bold styling and a huge grille
5 Jun 2020