Motorists to be Prepared as British Summer Time Ends
The clocks are going back on Sunday 29th of October. From then road traffic accidents are more prevalent, so motorists are urged to be cautious.
Daylight Saving Time Ends
Daylight saving time is the practice of setting the clocks forward 1 hour during the summer months and back again during fall. This change occurs to make better use of natural daylight and has been tradition since the First World War. This year the clocks turn back on Sunday 28th October. Although this means an extra hour in bed, it isn’t without its negative impact for motorists. During the winter months, it can get dark as early as 3.30pm in some parts of the UK, so motorists needs to be prepared.
Increased Road Traffic Accidents
According to research, the number of road traffic accidents is increased by 16% on the first day of the clocks changing, and 12% on the second. This is due to the shift in driving conditions for motorists, so drivers need to take extra care.
Changes in ambient light
The one-hour change to clock times in Autumn can lead to abrupt changes in ambient light conditions which has been shown to significantly increase the number of road traffic accidents. This particularly around morning and evening rush hour times. The roads will become darker, and motorists need to be careful as visibility will be significantly reduced during the winter months.
Worsening weather conditions
Although the darker evenings appear to contribute to the heightened levels of road traffic collisions, worsening weather conditions are another contributing factor. During the winter months, the weather typically gets much colder and wetter. The weather can also be unpredictable and turn quickly, making roads treacherous.
Considering the changes in ambient light and worsening weather conditions, it is important that motorists are prepared. We have put together some tips to help you stay safe this winter…
1. Check your route
Before you start your journey, you should check the route and weather conditions. This will allow you to plan your trip accordingly, considering the external factors.
2. Have regular eye tests
It is important you are wearing the most up to date prescription in your eye wear. To be safe, have eye examinations every 2 years. If your last eye test was more than 2 years ago, book your appointment now before the dark evenings draw in.
3. Check your tyres
It’s vital that car checks are undertaken throughout the year, but especially during the winter months. One of these key checks is to check your tyres. The minimum legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm, but during the winter a treat of 3mm is recommended. Motorists might also want to consider getting a set of winter tyres if they are commuting long distances. The winter tyres are as the name suggests, made with winter road conditions in mind. They provide a better grip in cold and wet conditions so are ideal during the winter.
4. De-ice your windscreen
Before you start your journey, it’s important that you have your windscreen wash filled up, ideally a de-icing one! This will ensure you’ve got a clear, unobscured view of the road ahead. It is equally important that you check your wipers too. If the blades are worn, they won’t clean your screen properly and will reduce visibility.
5. Keep your distance
During the wet winter months, road conditions change. This means that stopping distances can be 10 times longer during the winter road conditions. It is important that, due to limited visibility and wet driving conditions, you increase the space between your vehicle and the one in front. This will prevent the possibility of collisions occurring by allowing for drivers to break to a halt in time.
6. Drive slowly
Take your time and drive slowly. If you have an urgent appointment, leave in advance – don’t rush! Driving at high speed during the winter months is full of potential hazards which can be fatal. So, don’t risk it.
7. Study the road ahead
Driving conditions can very dangerous when ambient light decreases. This meaning that road users may miss potential hazards on their route. Therefore, it is important that drivers study the road ahead to ensure they foresee dangers before they arise.
But don’t forget, be safe!