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The number of road traffic accidents increases during winter months. Long, dark days and poor weather can make driving particularly hazardous.

Taking preventative measures and changing the way we drive to adapt to challenging road conditions such as: flooding, high winds, black ice and snow can help reduce the risk of serious accidents.

Darren O’Sullivan from our Isle of Wight outlines five useful tips for driving safely in winter:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time – Journeys can take longer in bad weather or difficult road conditions. Don’t put yourself under pressure by running late. Allow an extra 10 – 15 minutes before you set off to make sure your car is properly de-iced and the windows and mirrors are clear so that you can drive safely.
  2. Use your lights – Visibility can be a serious problem during the winter. Don’t forget to use your dipped headlights if you are driving in dull, gloomy conditions or in heavy rain or snow. The Highway Code states that if visibility falls below 100m, you should put your fog lights on to ensure the back of your car can be seen by other road users. But remember to switch them off when visibility improves.
  3. Watch your speed – Make sure your speed is appropriate to the road conditions and maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front. In wet weather, you should double the distance and bear in mind that in snowy or icy conditions, it can take 10 times as long to come to a complete stop.
  4. Adapt your driving to the conditions – If you’re driving in wintry conditions, move off slowly, try to stay in a high gear and keep your engine revs low. This will reduce the risk of wheel spin. Some cars have a winter mode which does the same thing, so it’s worth checking your owner’s manual.
  5. Expect the unexpected – Sudden patches of freezing fog, flooding, black ice, slow-moving snowploughs and gritting lorries can all catch drivers unawares. Pay close attention to what is going on all around you – if another car skids, they may move towards you from an unexpected direction – so be prepared and expect the unexpected.

At Novum Law we know only too well the devastating effects road traffic accidents have on survivors or those left behind when a loved one dies.

If you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault, you should contact our expert team of solicitors. We have a proven track record of helping people involved in road traffic accidents and can help on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you have any questions about making a road traffic accident compensation claim, call us on: Freephone 0800 884 0777 or email: info@novumlaw.com.