Ice skating, hot chocolates, and cosy nights in, it’s no wonder so many of us love winter. However, as the days get darker and colder, driving conditions become more challenging. Breakdowns and collisions are more common at this time of year. So, whether you’re driving to Leeds city centre for Christmas shopping or to Roundhay Park for a wintery walk, it’s important to stay safe.
Click here to learn what we’re doing to make the roads safer and keep reading for our advice on how to drive safely this winter.
1. Drive at the appropriate speed
Follow the speed limit when you’re driving and adjust your speed when the weather conditions are dangerous. When it’s snowing or the roads are icy, stopping distances are 10 times longer. This means that even if you react and brake quickly, it will take longer for your car to actually stop, which can cause collisions. Drive carefully and allow extra time for winter journeys so you don’t need to rush.
2. Defrost your car windscreen
If it’s cold overnight, you may need to defrost your windscreen. Sweep off any snow on the car and scrape ice off the windows. Once all the ice and mist has gone and you can see clearly through the windscreen, it’s safe to drive. Alternatively, covering your car windscreen overnight when frost is forecast will protect your car from ice and save you time in the morning as you won’t need to defrost it!
3. Keep an eye out for other road users
It may be harder to see cyclists and pedestrians on dark winter days, so please drive carefully. People who are walking or riding a bike are not hazards to overtake, they are simply people using a different mode of transport. Only overtake a cyclist if you can pass at a safe distance. Look out for pedestrians and give them plenty of time to cross the road safely. Remember, drivers should give way to pedestrians who have already started to cross at a junction.
4. Check your lights are working correctly
Rain, sleet, snow and shorter days mean that there is poor visibility when you drive in winter. Make sure your car lights are working and clean so other road users can see you, and you can see them. Use your fog lights in severe weather.
Finally, consider leaving the car at home for shorter journeys. Walk, cycle or get the bus instead and help us move towards healthier, greener travel in Leeds.
To learn more about what we’re doing to make our roads safer, click here. Look out for the next blog post in our winter road safety series: how to cycle safely in winter!