December 21, 2020
With Christmas now on the horizon and the outside temperatures rapidly dropping it’s time to make sure you and your vehicle are ready to take on the winter months.
Freezing temperatures, sleet and snow, fog and rain all play a significant part in winter road traffic accidents.
If you are one of those people venturing out on our roads to visit family and friends on Christmas Day, then make sure you plan your journey and ensure your car is in full working order before you set off.
Check the weather forecast. If it looks like heavy snow or black ice then assess whether your journey is necessary. Do you feel confident enough to drive in conditions like this? If not, then stay safe at home. It’s just not worth the risk.
If you decide to make the journey then make sure you are prepared by taking a warm blanket, snacks and drinks in the car with you. It’s important to concentrate and not be distracted. Drive at a sensible speed for the weather conditions and take your time. As the saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry”.
Before you hit the road it’s also very important to check a couple of things on your car. Is it roadworthy? Are your lights in full working order? Have you got enough water and screenwash for keeping your windows clear and clean? Have you checked the oil level? Tyre pressure and tread? If any of these things are not in full working order, then they could contribute to an accident.
Depending on how far you may be travelling it is a good idea to plan your journey before setting off. Use the inbuilt navigation system if you have one or put the directions into your mobile phone (ensuring that you put it in a safe place and do not pick it up whilst driving). It’s also handy to keep a paper road map in the car just in case technology fails you!
Don’t rush your journey. It’s always best to travel in daylight and leave at a time during the day when the traffic is likely to be quieter. If it’s a long journey remember to stop for short breaks.
A few final important things to do think about...
Do you have roadside breakdown cover? Car breakdowns are bad at the best of times but for it to happen during the dark, cold winter months is even more miserable. Having breakdown cover means a quick phone call for help and being towed back home safely. Also, remember to keep a few essential items in the boot of your car too...
- a blanket
- a snow shovel
- a reflective breakdown hazard sign and;
- check your spare tyre is in full working order as well
After what’s been an incredibly difficult 2020, Christmas is more important than ever this year and a lot of people are likely to be travelling around within their Tier to on Christmas Day to see family, so just remember to stay safe on the roads.
About the author
Laura Reaney is a Paralegal within our Serious Injury Team.
Laura, who joined the team in 1998, originally started as an office junior before training as a Litigator. After gaining extensive experience within personal injury, Laura now specialises in assisting on complex and high value personal injury claims. Over the years she has assisted senior Solicitors in dealing with accident claims involving amputations, serious spinal injuries resulting in permanent disability, brain, head injuries and fatal accidents.
Laura can be contacted on 01246 266679.