Road safety: Stay safe on roads this winter with these expert tips to avoid car crashes

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Between October 2017 and March 2018 there were 32 percent more personal injuries and 35 percent more accidents involving multiple vehicles when compared to the summer. The data revealed a 10 percent increase in the number of accidents over the winter period with hazardous conditions being one of the key reasons behind the rise, according to car leasing experts LeasePlan UK. 

Chris Black, Commercial Director at LeasePlan UK said: “Increased traffic, combined with poor light and potentially icy and wet roads, can present some of the most challenging driving conditions for even the most experienced of drivers. 

“Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your vehicle is road fit and that you always pay attention when behind the wheel. 

“While we can’t always predict the weather, there are a number of safety measures we can take to lessen the chances of an incident occurring.”

To prevent further accidents over the freezing winter period, LeasePlan UK has provided some expert tips and advice to all road users. 

READ MORE: RAC says Britons are not prepared for winter

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Road users are urged to slow down in wintery weather (Image: Getty)

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Motorists can have car crashes if they drive unsafely (Image: Getty)

Stay in a high gear 

Using a higher gear will ensure your revs remain low which can help stabilise the vehicle, the team at LeasePlan UK said.

In slippery road conditions, the first gear could cause your tyres to wheelspin and road users should shift into a higher gear as soon as they set off. 

Skidding 

Cars can spin easily on patches of ice or frost on the road and motorists must stay calm to bring a vehicle under control. 

If your car begins to slide, LeasePlan UK advises motorists to take their feet off the pedals and steer a vehicle to safety. 

Touching the brakes could cause your tyres to lock and slide uncontrollably so motorists must only use their brake pedal when it is impossible to steer out of the way. 

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Braking 

Frosty conditions mean motorists should allow an increased braking distance between themselves and the car in front. 

LeasePlan UK says braking distances must be trebled but other motoring firms such as the RAC say this should be up to ten times the braking distance used in normal weather conditions. 

Roads 

Motorists are urged to stay on the main routes during wintery weather as they will often be gritted better than other places in the area. 

Sometimes getting off your driveway and to the end of the road is the most hazardous area as local communities are very rarely treated by gritting teams.  

Potholes 

Frost and ice can damage the road surface and cause potholes to appear on the tarmac. 

Poor visibility may mean you can’t see these potholes in the road, causing you to drive your car through them which could lead to devastating consequences. 

Hitting potholes hard can damage your vehicle and cause a momentary loss of control – something which can be scary for road users. 

Fog

Motorists are urged to drive slower in foggy weather conditions as this could lead to visibility becoming reduced. 

Road users shouldn’t slow suddenly in these conditions as it could cause a car behind to hit you at speed. 

Your speed should be reduced gradually and motorists should switch their headlights to the fog or dipped position until conditions improve. 

Flood water 

Rain can cause puddles or plumes of floodwater to appear on the road surface and motorists should take extra care when travelling through these. 

Road users are urged to never drive directly through flood water as this can cause water to enter your vehicle which will cause damage. 

Motorists should avoid sudden acceleration in deep flood water and should dab their brakes two or three times when exiting to make sure the water has evaporated. 


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