RoSPA issues Christmas journey planning advice
The safety charity has published a winter driving factsheet covering a range of issues affecting drivers, including snow, ice, fog and winter sun. It is available online at www.rospa.com/roadsafety/adviceandinformation/driving/winter-driving-tips.aspx
RoSPA also offers its Safer Journey Planner helpful (see www.rospa.com/roadsafety/info/safer_journey.pdf).
The company adds that if conditions are poor, it is crucial to keep watching and listening to weather and traffic reports, and to consider postponing your journey if it is not absolutely necessary, even if this means delaying a Christmas visit. If you must go out, remember that smoother is safer when it comes to accelerating, braking and changing gear. Keep your speed down and ensure you leave enough space from the vehicle in front.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: 'As well as smooth driving techniques, safer winter driving is about good preparation – making sure you're in a fit state to drive, that your vehicle is in good condition and that you've planned your journey.
'It's not just weather that can be a problem – it's also important that drivers are aware of the danger of getting behind the wheel when they are tired. Tired drivers are much more likely to have an accident, and the crash is likely to be severe because a drowsy or sleeping driver does not usually brake or swerve before the impact.
'Despite the wintry conditions affecting much of the country, some people will be travelling long distances this Christmas. We encourage them to plan their journeys in advance. Consider the best time to drive, avoiding those times when you're more likely to be tired or drowsy, like early mornings or after a large meal. Also, remember to plan in rest stops and allow time for adverse weather conditions.'