As the big freeze hits Britain, we thought it was time for a quick recap on winter road safety and of course top tips on safe driving in snow.Did you know that there are twice as many accidents during winter in the UK as there are in the summer? Not surprising if you consider that as many as 91% of drivers underestimate stopping distances by half. Add to that the fact that 14% of drivers are so unprepared for the inevitable cold spell that they do not even have de-icer and a scraper!
The stats come from a recent survey by a leading car insurer, aimed at educating drivers about road safety at this time of year, and cut the value of the most chilling statistic – that around 2,000 people a year die in UK road accidents.
The advice is that by being prepared and exercising caution, every driver can help make the roads a safer place this winter.
How to be Prepared this winter:Check Your Tyres – Tread needs to be more than 3mm and in temperatures below 7 degrees, winter tyres or snow tyres are a safer option
Check Your Car Fluids – Beat the ice (and engine damage) by adding anti freeze to your radiator and your windscreen washer water
Pack a Simple Car Kit – Make sure you have an ice scraper and de-icer
Pack an Emergency Kit – Blanket, high vis jacket, spade, spare clothing, first aid kit, food and torch
Book a Winter Health Check – Book your car in for a Winter Health Check at your local Cooper BMW dealership and you will receive a check that includes:
- Brake pads and discs
- Coolant level
- Clutch hydraulics
- Screen wash reservoir
- Steering oil reservoir
- Tyre wear and pressure
- Warning lights
- Wiper blades
Top Tips for Driving in SnowTo be safe when driving in snow, extra caution is essential. The tips below could make all the difference between maintaining control of your vehicle and being the cause of an accident. However, it should be noted that road safety organisations stress that no journey should be started unless absolutely necessary when it is snowing or when snow is forecast. If you do find that you need to travel keep in mind some simple advice:
- Keep control with slower speeds – your chances of skidding are greatly reduced when travelling slower
- Increase your distance – Stopping in snowy or icy conditions requires as much as TEN TIMES more distance
- Brake gently, accelerate slowly and steer smoothly
- Start slowing down sooner by moving into a lower gear before gently applying brakes