Winter is coming – are you ready?
With winter on its way, road users should make sure they are ready for the change in conditions when they are travelling around the county.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are working together to promote the ‘Safe and Social Driving’ message.
Following some simple steps will ensure you are prepared for what’s ahead.
- Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists should consider the effects of low sun when it is behind you, as this might affect the vision of nearby motorists. You may have a clear view but those coming in the opposite direction may not. You should always wear suitable high-vis clothing and position yourself where you can be seen.
- One of the main problems when driving in sunny conditions is glare, as it can seriously reduce your ability to see the road ahead. The situation can be worsened by having a dirty windscreen so keep it clean, both inside and out.
- Lower your speed where visibility is reduced and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists as they are more difficult to see, and of vehicles behind you; they may also be affected by the sun’s glare.
- Check your vehicle is ready for winter and always carry an emergency kit. It should include items such as an ice scraper and de-icer, torch, warm clothes, blankets and a shovel – and make sure you have a charged mobile phone with you.
- Make checks on your vehicle regularly, such as checking and replacing the anti-freeze in the radiator, make sure your lights are clean, check the bulbs and make sure your tyres are correctly inflated and replaced before the tread has reached the legal minimum.
Mark Astle, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “It’s important to take these precautions when travelling during the winter so you’re ready for the change in conditions. You should carry out regular checks on your vehicle to minimise the risk of breaking down and take extra care when the roads are wet from rain or snow.”
Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for the fire service, said: “We want people to stay safe when travelling in the winter so please make sure you’re prepared. An emergency winter kit should be kept in your car as you never know when you might need it and be aware of other road users, particularly when there is glare from the sun.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said: “I made ‘Safe and social driving’ one of the priorities of my Police and Crime Plan because I want all road users to show respect to each other. Whether on two wheels or four, it is even more important we are aware of our duty of care when the clocks go back and conditions become potentially more hazardous.”