Do you drive as part of your working role? Winter Tips
Winter is coming
Advice for our Care workers and those who work in the community – Stay Safe
Our Tips for the Winter Months
Plenty of health care professionals work 365 days of the year providing a service to those in need. It can be a difficult time that is often more tiring with the weather that may come with it. This is our guide on how to prepare and stay safe. Whilst we keep our seniors safe we want to look after those who work for us and also to support others in the community.
Extra preparation means our work is carried out safely avoiding any accidents or injuries.
Slip and trip accidents increase during the Autumn and Winter season for a number of reasons: there is less daylight, leaves fall onto paths and become wet and slippery and cold weather spells cause ice and snow to build up on paths. There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip.
Before you set off on your visits
- Allow extra time for winter journeys.
- Try to get up at least 10 minutes early, to give you time to de-ice the car.
- Check fuel levels – keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
- Don’t drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen.
- Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer.
- Give yourself time for your windows to clear, do not use hot water.
- Plan routes to favor major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted.
- Country roads in the winter may be more hazardous.
- Take it slow – with stopping distances 10 times longer, gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving in ice and snow.
In Ice and Snow
- Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving.
- Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
- Uphill – leave plenty of room or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
- Downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can to the car in front.
- If you must use your brakes, apply them gently.
- If you drive an Automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.
- If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip.
- 3mm of tread is recommended for the winter.
- Don’t let air out of your tyres to get more grip – it doesn’t work, and it’s unsafe.
- Only use snow chains if there’s enough snow to prevent damage to the road.
- Think about getting winter tyres or all-season tyres – these are made from a special rubber that gives better grip in cold, wet conditions.
- Make sure all lights are working and lenses clean.
- If the roads are mucky you might have to clean your lights after every trip.
- Keep number plates clean, to avoid fines.
- If you must clear snow, don’t forget the lights – front and back.
- You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. If you use fog lights, remember to switch them off when visibility improves so they don’t dazzle other drivers or obscure your brake lights.
- Clean your windscreen inside and out.
- Keep the windscreen and other windows clear of dirt, snow and stickers, to avoid a fine.
- Clear snow from the roof – it can fall onto the windscreen and block your view.
- Air-con demists the screen faster and reduces condensation.
- Replace worn or damaged wiper blades.
- Don’t leave your wipers on auto when you park up if there’s a risk of frost. If the blades freeze to the screen, you could damage the blades or wiper motor when you turn the ignition on.
- Use a suitable additive in your screen wash to reduce the chance of it freezing.
Are you prepared?
Pack a winter emergency Kit
Keep in your car throughout the winter:
- A blanket, rug or sleeping bag.
- Ice scraper and de-icer.
- Torch and batteries.
- Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars.
- Extra screen wash.
Severe Winter extras
- A warm winter coat, scarf, hat, gloves and warm clothes.
- Sturdy footwear.
- A flask of hot drink
Preparation is the key to a stress free Autumn and Winter on the roads