Drivers must take additional care during the winter months, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Team has said.
This will involve ensuring all vehicle windows are properly demisted and that vehicles have a torch and ice-scraper on board. Drivers should also allow extra time for their journeys so they do not make mistakes while feeling rushed, as this could create health and safety hazards. If visibility is less than 100m, people should use fog lamps. All mirrors and lights should be properly cleared of ice before journeys begin if drivers are to avoid road traffic accident claims.
Cold mornings could see ice settle on the roads, which could significantly change road conditions. People may need to drive more slowly than usual to give themselves plenty of room to stop, as stopping distances on icy roads can be ten times longer than they are on dry roads, and foggy conditions can make roads wet and slippery and can dramatically reduce visibility. The Fire and Rescue Service also recommended wearing sunglasses on sunny, cold days, as doing this can reduce glare.
Road Safety Manager for the local authority’s Fire and Rescue Service Mick Clarke also recommended that people bring de-icers, first-aid kits and hazard warning triangles on board with them. He also advised people to bring wellington boots, a shovel and a blanket with them, and telling people when they expect to arrive at their destination and what their route will be.
Mr Clarke warned of the health and safety dangers of tree shallows and bridges, as these can be ice traps.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is also running the 365alive initiative, which will provide winter safety advice.
The Ready for Winter campaign from the county council should also help people avoid problems over winter. This provides road health and safety advice for cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and motorcyclists that should support them in staying safe while on the road, as well as plenty of other advice and recommendations that are intended to help people stay safe and healthy over winter.
Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service Councillor Louise Chapman said it is important for people to stay safe on the roads throughout the year, adding that winter creates its own health and safety risks that people should do practical things to deal with.
People should only go on car journeys that are essential during the winter and must properly equip their cars whenever they go out to ensure they are ready to handle the cold snap.
Drivers who are injured in road traffic accidents over winter that they were not to blame for can still receive just as much money in a personal injury claim as they otherwise would, even if the collision they were in would not have occurred in the summer. Personal injury solicitors can help people make a compensation claim and give them the clear advice and assistance they need to be able to do so.