Driving in winter can be challenging to say the least. The problem is that life doesn’t slow down for poor weather…even when it should.

Every year, accident rates on UK roads accelerate dramatically during the colder months of the year. It’s simply acknowledged and accepted by many that road traffic accident rates spike throughout the winter. Nevertheless, by considering the most common causes of accidents during the winter, you could be far less likely to become another unfortunate statistic.

According to official road safety statistics, the following represent the most common causes of winter traffic accidents:

Dangerous road conditions

Unsurprisingly, treacherous road conditions during winter can wreak havoc on motorists and their vehicles. When there’s snow or ice on the ground, even the safest and simplest journeys become hazardous in the extreme. Black ice in particular – which is largely invisible – is known to cause any number of accidents each winter. In terms of avoiding such incidents, it’s simply a case of accepting the weather for what it is and taking extra care. Driving at a slower speed, taking corners more carefully and under no circumstances tailgating vehicles ahead. Approach your journey with enough care and you’re far more likely to arrive safe.

Improperly maintained vehicles

Far too many motorists take to the roads in the winter without considering the condition of their vehicles. This is a perilous period, during which your car needs to be performing at its absolute best. This means keeping an eye on tyre tread depths, tyre pressures, ensuring your lights are correctly functioning and so on. If there’s even a slight discrepancy with your car’s performance, driving in the winter weather is a risk not worth taking.

Poor visibility

There’s nothing you can do about the kind of weather that brings foggy and hazy driving conditions. However, it’s up to you and you alone to ensure that your visibility isn’t compromised due to a simple act of preventative maintenance. Check your fans and heaters are working appropriately, make sure your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition and never set out without a full bottle of windscreen washer fluid. Wait as long as necessary for any interior fog on your windows to clear and don’t even think about setting off until you can see everything with crystal clarity.

Tiredness and distractions

Last but not least, combine the winter weather with a distinct lack of daylight time and you have yourself somewhat treacherous driving conditions.  Something that counts double when factoring fatigue and general distractions into the equation. During the winter months in particular, even a momentary lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences. It’s therefore up to you to ensure this doesn’t happen, under any circumstances.

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