November 29, 2021
With less than a month until the big day and the outside temperatures plummeting, it really is starting to feel like winter (and of course Christmas).
Now is the time to make sure you and your vehicle are ready to take on these next few months. Freezing temperatures, sleet and snow, fog and rain all play a significant part in winter road traffic accidents.
If you are planning to hit the road this December and travel to see family and friends, 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 not worth the risk.
If you decide to make the journey then ensure you are well 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.
It’s also very important to give your car the once over and check it is 100% roadworthy. Are your lights in full working order? Have you got enough water and screen wash for keeping your windows clear and clean? Have you checked the oil level? Tyre pressure and tread? If any of these things are not working properly then they could contribute to an accident, which nobody wants.
Another important thing to do before setting off is to plan your journey and be confident about the route you are using. Use the inbuilt navigation system if you have one or put the directions into your mobile phone (ensuring that you put it in a suitable stand or holder 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 either. It’s 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 and have something to eat.
A few final important checks ... Do you have roadside breakdown cover? Car breakdowns are a headache at the best of times, but even worse during the dark cold winter months. Remember to keep a few essential items in the boot of your car like a blanket, snow shovel, reflective breakdown hazard sign. Also check your spare tyre is in full working order as well.
Christmas is a special time of year and many people travel miles and miles to spend it with family and friends. It’s more important than ever to stay safe on the roads this winter.
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.