Road safety during the winter months
Every year there has been an increasing number of deaths and injuries involving vehicles, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
In this article Navdip Gill, Personal Injury Lawyer provides a number of useful tips to stay safe during this winter as well as promoting road safety week.
As the temperature falls the roads will be wet and icy, and therefore it is essential you reduce your speed and this applies to the young drivers who have passed their driving test over the summer who will find driving challenging this time of year.
The most vulnerable groups are pedestrians, motor cyclists and cyclists and therefore it is essential you are aware of them on the roads.
Another interesting point is that most cars are fitted with summer tyres and some with all-season tyres. However, winter tyres are designed specifically to remain supple in colder temperatures and maximise traction when driving on snow and ice and they generally have deeper tread grooves than conventional summer tyres which is essential when braking suddenly.
In relation to passengers especially babies and toddlers who are wearing their winter coats these items must be removed when placing them in their car seats otherwise their safety harness may be compromised.
When was the last time you checked the condition of your helmet? It is always worthwhile investing in a new helmet. Helmets sold in the UK must satisfy either British Standard 6658: 1985 or ECE Regulation 22.05 standards. This also applies to the rest of your equipment such as gloves, boots, trousers and jacket. In relation to your boots you wear, ensure they are sturdy and above ankle-height to provide support and protection for the ankle area. Ideally they should be made from good quality leather (at least 2.5mm thick) and be waterproof too.
Another vulnerable group are cyclists who should always wear a helmet and display their lights. There is also on the market high visibility clothing which will alert a motorist of your presence on the road. It’s important to note that just because something is brightly coloured, it does not mean that it can be deemed as safety equipment. In order for something to be classified as personal protective equipment it needs to meet EU-regulated standards. Clothing and equipment that does meet these standards will carry the official CE mark of either Standards EN471 or EN1150.
Make sure your phone is fully charged because in the event of an accident this is your best friend, apart from making calls it can also be used to take pictures of the location in the event you are involved in a collision with a vehicle.
There are increasing numbers of vehicles on the road and as a pedestrian it is essential you are alert to your surroundings and this is always difficult if you are using your headphones or you are distracted. There are a number of electric cars on the road which are quieter than your conventional car and therefore you can no longer rely on sound alone when crossing roads.