Tips to ensure your safety in winter weather

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a time to be enjoyed by all. However, one sure-fire way to ruin the fun is to have an accident. The winter brings around a plethora of weather conditions, scenarios and hazards, but they can be avoided to ensure a safe transition into 2019. These are a couple of known tips and tricks to avoid any personal injury this winter.

  1. Winter driving

In the winter, driving conditions can become more volatile and dangerous in a very short space of time, particularly in the snow or freezing conditions. Even a combination of rain with plummeting temperatures can be enough to cause  black ice and slippery surfaces. With drivers over 20% more likely to be in an accident in the winter, preparation is paramount.

Whilst winter tyres are a great idea, it’s generally down to judgement. Take a look at the weather and the roads before any long car journeys. Always ensure you have a blanket, water and food provisions in the car and enough fuel to get you to your destination. In addition, before tackling any longer journeys it can be wise to let another person know where you are going.

If you are a business owner, the safety of your employees lies in your judgement and decision making. In order to remain covered lawfully it can help to have a winter driving policy. No matter the level of workload, allowing employees to drive in unsafe weather is never worth the risk or implication to your staff and your liability.

  1. Patience is important

Whilst on the topic of driving it is also really important to ensure that your car is fully safe before embarking. This includes the temperature inside of your car being a comfortable temperature and all windows fully de-iced and clear of condensation. Defrosting a car can take time and whilst your impatience may get you off your drive quicker, consider the implications of reduced visibility, coldness and discomfort whilst driving. Mitigating the risks certainly outweighs getting to your destination quicker, or not getting there at all.

  1. Check the heat – at work and at home

According to the Met Office, the recommended minimum temperature inside should be placed at 18 degrees Celsius. Cold weather can be a huge risk to your health and particularly to the older generations. It’s important to ensure everybody has access to a safe environment and checking on relatives, the thermostat at work and at home will ensure you, your family and colleagues are warm enough and safe.

  1. Prepare yourself

Whilst severe bad weather isn’t commonplace in the UK, the country has been known to experience more extreme weather in recent years. With reports suggesting that the worst weather in eight years is set to hit the UK and expected temperatures to hit minus 13 degrees in some areas, it may prevent a disaster to have an emergency kit in place.

A safety kit could be carried at all times, placed in the home or the car. This could include but is not limited to: water, thermals, a first aid kit, batteries and a torch and an extra set of house or car keys (in the relevant safe place). For a more comprehensive list of what to include in your kit click here.

If you feel you have incurred a personal injury this winter that was not your fault, you may be liable for compensation. Please get in touch with our expert team at Lysander Law for more information.