Road safety: How to avoid driving in a lorry's blind spots
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As winter settles in, drivers can find themselves confronted with more potential dangers than at any other time of the year. Whether it’s ice on the road or your windscreen, it can be harder for you to stay safe. So, ahead of the remaining winter months in 2022, here’s five road safety tips which you can adopt as your own to keep out of harm’s way in your vehicle.
Driver Hire Training is a UK HGV training and recruitment company which aims to provide people with the correct knowledge to stay safe while driving.
It recognises that the roads can be particularly dangerous during the winter months, and put together its best advice to help maintain driver safety.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Group Marketing Director Richard Owen-Hughes said: “The winter months can throw many hurdles when it comes to driving in extreme weather conditions that we’re not as used to in the UK.
“It’s important to always make sure that your vehicle is in a fit state to be driven by giving it a full check down, looking at the likes of coolant and tyre treads, as well as just making sure you take extra care whilst behind the wheel.”
Here are its top five tips to help keep safe on the roads this winter.
1.) Give your vehicle a full inspection
Driver Hire said that adding a few additional steps to your routine before you set off on a journey is important to ensure you’re kept safe on the road while also helping to prevent a breakdown.
In bad weather, it’s recommended that you have at least 3mm of grip on your tyres to give you the traction you need on icy and wet surfaces.
You should also check your antifreeze levels in preparation for the colder weather. This is because frozen and cracked engines can cost more than £2,500 to fix.
To protect your engine, you will need a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water in winter, which will then protect your engine at temperatures as low as -34C.
Furthermore, it’s recommended that you check your wiper blades are still intact and doing the job they should be, ensuring the blades are not split.
2.) Stay safe in poor weather conditions
Where possible, driving in dangerous weather conditions should be avoided but it’s appreciated this can’t always be possible.
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Consequently, the following advice has been issued for these types of weather.
Rain – One of the biggest risks when driving in rain is aquaplaning. This is where a layer of water builds up between your tyres and the surface of the road. If your vehicle starts to aquaplane, do not brake. Instead, just remove your foot from the accelerator and allow your car to slow down gradually.
Fog – Make sure you are using your fog lights only if visibility is less than 100 metres. If you can see further, then use your dipped headlights instead.
Snow and ice – Always ensure that if it has been snowing, and roads are icy, that you accelerate gently and change up to higher gears as quickly and safely as you can.
3.) Create space
Always leave more than enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you – this is your safety buffer.
Roads that are wet take twice as long to stop on, and this becomes 10 times longer if the roads are icy.
4.) Carry essentials with you
Make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality and direction the weather could take.
You should consider carrying items, such as an ice scraper, de-icer, torch, spare batteries, first aid kit, extra thermal layers, and a charger for your phone.
5.) Carry some old carpet
Should you get stuck on ice or in snow, putting some old carpet – or something similar – could save you time and money calling someone out to help rescue you.
All you need to do is simply place it under the driving wheels, which will help in giving them something to grip on to and get you moving again.
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