Although bad weather may strike, employees still need to find their way into work. In winter months, the weather can add unwanted pressure to your daily commute, however, with a little bit of preparation, it is possible to minimise the risk of a road traffic accident.
Commuting in winter: Weather to watch out for
Road traffic accidents occur all year round, yet winter conditions can cause even the most cautious of drivers to experience a collision or road-related accident. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents report that in 2012, ‘544 were seriously injured and 4,584 were slightly injured in reported road accidents on Great Britain’s roads when there was snow or ice on the road surface’.
It is important that you are aware of the expected weather conditions before you head out for the day, and prepare your vehicle accordingly. Being in the right mind-set from the moment you set off can reduce panic, help you tackle tricky weather-induced dilemmas and reduce the risk of you having an accident on the road.
Problematic weather conditions include:
- Low fog and mist, affecting vision
- Heavy rain, affecting vision
- Falling and settled snow
- Pressed snow, ice, and black ice patches
- Shorter days, darker mornings and nights
Preparing yourself and your vehicle
Avoiding road-related accidents is paramount. There are a five steps you can take to ensure both yourself and your vehicle are prepared for the winter weather.
- Always check the weather forecast the night and morning before travel.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car. The AA recommend that an emergency winter car kit should include: A foldable snow shovel, emergency foil blanket, LED torch with batteries, adult high-visibility vest, EN471 snow & ice grips with storage pouch, booster cables, a pack of ponchos and heavy duty carry bag
- Re-plan your route so you are travelling mainly by main roads and gritted areas. Country roads and side roads are typically problematic in winter months.
- Only travel if you have to. Road traffic accidents can only occur if you are on the road. Only make the journey if you must. If it is possible to work from home, in the case of extremely bad weather, this is advisable.
- Wear suitable footwear, in case you need to leave your car should a road accident occur.
Claiming for road traffic accidents
If you believe you have been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice