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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 19, 2009

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Stay safe behind the wheel this winter

The clocks go back this weekend, officially marking the end of the British summer (!), which means we are about to enter one of the most dangerous times of the year on the roads. 

Bad weather and shorter, darker days in winter pose a danger, so the period between 3pm and 6pm is particularly hazardous, as more people are travelling on the roads, on the way home from work, or school. During the summer, up to a quarter of all collisions happen during these hours, but when the clocks go back, heavy traffic and rapidly deteriorating light increases this to a third.

To make sure you stay safe on the roads this winter, fleet risk-management solutions provider, Interactive Driving Systems, offers the following advice:

Before you drive — keep yourself and your vehicle in good technical repair to reduce your overall chances of any mishap or disaster while driving in winter weather; prepare your vehicle for winter driving by giving it a complete check-up, and keep your fuel tank near to full to ensure that you do not run out; make sure your tyres are in good order by checking them weekly, or when refuelling; carry an emergency kit for your car in case you get stranded in adverse weather; listen to weather forecasts and, if the weather and visibility are hazardous, ask yourself ‘is this trip really necessary?’

On the road — drive according to current road and weather conditions, making sure that all windows and mirrors are clear and that wipers and defrosters are in good working condition; and drive slowly with low-beam headlights on if visibility is poor, test your brakes frequently, leave a bigger gap and never tailgate. 

If the worst happens — if you get stranded, don’t panic. Keep yourself safe, and follow the detailed procedures in your driver’s handbook if you are in a work vehicle; in your own vehicle you should contact the appropriate support organisation and follow their guidance.

For more detailed winter driving advice, visit and

Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

This eBook will guide you through some of the key understandings you need to be able to manage driver safety effectively and, at the end, provide a series of free resources you can access to help you ensure your own driver safety management system is robust, legally compliant and in line with industry-accepted good practice.

Download this eBook from Driving for Better Business and SHP to cover:

  • Why do we need to manage driver safety?
  • Duty of care – a shared responsibility;
  • Setting the rules with a driving for work policy;
  • Managing driver safety;
  • Ensuring safe vehicles;
  • Safe journeys and fitness to drive;
  • Record keeping;
  • Reporting;
  • The business benefits of good practice;
  • Additional resources
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