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Stephensons Solicitors Encourage Safe Driving as Cold Weather Hits the UK

As a cold snap settles over the whole of Britain, Stephensons Solicitors are promoting motorist safety and sharing tips for driving on snow and ice.


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE

Perhaps the most important safe driving tip when the weather is bad is not to drive at all. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and some journeys cannot be avoided.

As a cold snap settles over the whole of Britain, Stephensons Solicitors are promoting motorist safety and sharing tips for driving on snow and ice.

Stephensons Solicitors are amongst the leading UK law firms for road traffic accidents and car accident claims. With years of experience in handling these cases, they know just how influential bad weather can be in causing potentially fatal accidents on the road.

With the MET Office issuing severe weather warnings to a number of areas of the UK, ice, wind and snow are set to sweep the land, so it’s important for motorists to drive safely and ensure that their vehicle is in suitable condition.

Kate Sweeney, Head of the Personal Injury Department and Partner at Stephensons Solicitors said: “Perhaps the most important safe driving tip when the weather is bad is not to drive at all. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and some journeys cannot be avoided.

“If the area has been hit by heavy snow, it is advisable to stay off the roads until they have been cleared and gritted. Since extra care will be needed when driving, it is also necessary to allow for extra time for every journey.”

When roads are icy, drivers are advised to follow a number of safety guidelines.

These guidelines apply to all drivers; even those with four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles.

  1. Slow down and allow yourself more room to stop. Allow three times more space between you and the car in front than necessary in good weather.
  2. Brake gently to avoid a skid, easing off the brakes in the event that wheels lock up.
  3. Use lights to improve visibility and the visibility of other motorists.
  4. Ensure that lights and windscreen remain clean.
  5. Stay in lower gears to improve traction, particularly on hills.
  6. Refrain from using cruise control or overdrive on slippery roads.
  7. Take extra care when driving on bridges, overpasses and infrequently travelled roads. When temperatures drops, these roads will freeze before any others. It is even possible to encounter ice on these roads when temperatures are above freezing. Ice can form in shady areas or on exposed roads such as bridges.
  8. Do not overtake snow ploughs and grit trucks. The drivers of these vehicles have limited visibility. What’s more, the roads are likely to be in a much better condition behind them.

In the event of wheels skidding, drivers should follow these steps:
 
Rear Wheels

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer into the skid. This means steering in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If the car’s rear wheels are skidding to the right, steer to the right. If they’re going left, steer to the left.
  3. If the rear wheels begin to slide the opposite way, ease the steering wheel the other way. It may be necessary to change direction a few times before regaining total control of the vehicle.
  4. With standard brakes pump them gently. With anti-lock (ABS) brakes apply steady pressure.

Front Wheels

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator and put the vehicle in neutral. Do not immediately try to steer out of the skid.
  2. As wheels skid sideways they will slow the vehicle down allowing it to regain traction. Now steer in the direction you wish to move, put the car in gear and gently apply the accelerator.

If the car becomes stuck, drivers should apply the following actions:

  1. Do not spin the wheels as this will only make the situation worse.
  2. Instead, turn wheels from side to side to move snow away from the wheels.
  3. Lightly apply the accelerator to ease the car out.
  4. Move snow away from wheels and the underside of the car, using a shovel.
  5. Gain traction by pouring sand, gravel, salt or kitty litter under the wheels and into their path.

Sweeney continued: “Sometimes, road traffic accidents are unavoidable but practicing some simple safe driving techniques could greatly reduce the risk of having a car accident.
 
“If you are involved in a crash, we can provide free advice and discuss your circumstances. If you have grounds to make an accident compensation claim, we could help you to earn an appropriate amount for you injuries and financial losses.”
 
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, call the Stephensons personal injury team on 0333 344 3772 or visit http://www.stephensons.co.uk
 


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 Road Traffic Accidents
 Driving
 Cold Weather
 Safety Tips


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