With winter on our doorsteps, Stephen Wornham, Managing Director of Road Safety Designs and creator of BriteAngle, looks at how slowing down in the winter months can help keep drivers and other motorists safe.
As the longer winter nights start to make an appearance, road safety becomes an ever-increasing issue. As the winter hits, visibility on the roads becomes reduced due to wet weather conditions and longer, darker nights.
Under these conditions, stopping distances increase and spotting a hazard becomes more difficult. This means that stopping at the side of the road because of a breakdown, flat tyre or for any other reason is even more dangerous.
There are some things that motorists who stop at the side of the road can do to reduce the risk to themselves and other road users. Putting hazard lights on, turning the engine off, and standing as far away from the road as possible, will help to keep occupants of the stopped vehicle safe.
According to rule 126 of The Highway Code, motorists should also place a warning triangle 35 metres away from their vehicle in the event of a breakdown or crash. This advice should be adhered to warily, however, as it may not be safe to walk 35 metres down the road from your car, for example, conventional warning triangles should also not be used on motorways.
Motorists could consider a number of innovative new road safety products, such as our own BriteAngle, a revolutionised warning triangle. BriteAngle’s flashing, high-intensity LEDs allow a hazard to be seen from up to 300 metres away, meaning motorists can set it up behind their vehicle, vastly increasing the warning to approaching vehicles.
However, the most effective thing motorists can do to reduce risk of collision with a stationary vehicle is to simply slow down. That’s why we’re supporting this year’s Road Safety Week and its theme, Speed Down, Save Lives. We hope motorists across the country will pledge to stay within speed limits and slow down to less than 20mph around schools, homes and shops, to protect all road users.