It’s officially the end of summer! We know it’s always a sad state of affairs to say goodbye to the sunshine for another year, but as the days become noticeably colder and darker – the seasonal changes can also bring about a change in driver behaviour.
What could cause accidents in winter?
Contributing factors towards road accidents at this time of year could be:-
- Alertness – Although we may gain an extra hour in bed, it still takes a lot of people time to adjust to the new routine of going to work in the dark and coming home in it too. This can leave people feeling more tired, and some have been reported to have reduced concentration levels for up to a week after the change. It’s not just the clocks that need to adjust, it’s our own bodies as well!
- Poor car maintenance – It’s important to make sure your motor is prepared for the winter. Many drivers forget about their tyres, lightbulbs, and coolant. Neglect of these basic things can lead to loss of grip, reduced visibility for other drivers and also cause your engine to overheat if your coolant and oil is not properly topped up.
- Pedestrians and cyclists – If pedestrians or cyclists aren’t wearing hi-vis clothing when they are out during the darker hours of the day, then there could be a greater risk of drivers not seeing them. If you’re driving then try to be extra vigilant, and if you’re cycling or walking then don’t forget to wear clothing that drivers will hopefully be able to see!
Drive safely this winter
Beautiful autumn may be in full swing, but winter is coming too. If you think the roads are getting bad now, they are likely to get much worse as the frost and ice begin to form during the hours of darkness. Our best advice is to prepare yourself in advance.
Switch up your morning routine – By allowing yourself time to wake up slightly earlier than you usually would, you are likely to be more focused and alert on your morning commute. Not only that but not having to rush around to defrost the windscreen or wait for the car to heat up, always makes for a smoother, less stressful journey.
Get your motor serviced – It is recommended to have your car serviced at least every 6 months, but if you have been putting it off, now is the time to get it done. If you’re not due a service any time soon but want to make sure everything is up to scratch – the guys at Halfords do a fantastic FREE 5-point winter check on your car, which looks at your battery, lightbulbs, windscreen wipers, oil and screenwash levels.
Check your tyres – It is a legal requirement for all tyres in the UK to have a minimum tread depth 1.6mm. In winter, your tyres undergo a lot of stress from the cold and wear easier than in summer. Make sure you check them on a regular basis and replace them if needed.
Keep supplies in the car – You never know when your motor might conk out completely and leave you stranded for a while. If your battery dies in your car and you are unable to charge up your phone whilst you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re pretty screwed! Keep emergency supplies in the boot such as a sleeping bag, bottle of water, dry snack, torch and shovel. It may seem a bit of an over exaggeration to have all those things in your car, but it’s better have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! These things should tide you over until help arrives.
Eat well, rest well – The last one sounds strange, but as the clocks changing means people feel more tired during the day, it’s always worth getting a good night’s rest; this can help prevent fatigue and make sure you are on the ball when it comes to being behind the wheel and in your general day to day adventures. Eat good hearty stews and soup this time of year to warm up those cockles and make you feel good inside!
Using all of the above should be enough to get you through this winter! Drive safe and stay safe 🙂