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Take extra precaution as the nights draw in …

November 18th 2021

AS THE clocks have now gone back and it begins to get pitch black outside before we leave work or to pick our children up from after-school activities, we all really need to start taking extra precaution in order to protect ourselves and others.

Thinking it over with Carol Fish Director & Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury

While we enjoyed that extra hour in bed last Sunday, we must now contend with the darkness descending on us even earlier as we approach the end of the calendar year.

With the winter weather conditions firmly kicking in too, there is sadly an annual rise in collisions on our roads during the months immediately before and after Christmas.

Research from insurance provider Insure The Box highlighted that drivers are more than 20 per cent likely to have an accident during the winter months.

It’s not just motorists who need to take extra care, though, as cyclists, children, dog walkers and pedestrians in general need to protect themselves better to avoid any serious injuries being sustained.

To motorists getting behind the wheel when the dark nights creep in earlier, there’s a lot of precautions they can take.

Top of the list would be of course to keep a careful eye out for what is on the road as it may be harder to spot that person that has just ran into the road or that cyclist whose poor choice of clothing doesn’t make them visible until you’re up close.

What is imperative for a driver is to ensure relevant checks are carried out on their vehicles which would reduce the chances of accidents – making sure all lights on the vehicle are in working order is key to ensure visibility is as high as possible.

In addition to this, defective tyres and windscreen wipers, even a lack of screen wash, can play their part in raising the likelihood of collisions during these winter months, so regular checks to make sure they’re all present and correct could potentially prevent a catastrophe.

The chances of being involved in an accident are also heightened by tiredness if somebody has had a tough and/or long day at work, and the darkness can add to their fatigue.

The onus is not purely just on the motorist, however, and pedestrians and cyclists need to take their own safety into their own hands.

The rural roads we travel on are particularly poorly lit so motorists need all the help they can get to identify objects in the road.

Cyclists share the roads with vehicles and they need to make sure they are dressed accordingly for the conditions – we would always hope they wear a helmet to protect themselves even in daylight hours!

But beyond wearing a helmet, they should be wearing fluorescent clothing and their bikes should have lights or reflective additions to ensure they aren’t an invisible figure in the road.

Where possible, pedestrians should apply the same principles and make sure they stand out in the dark conditions through the clothing they have on.

Dog walkers have started a trend of not only wearing high viz themselves, but putting fluorescent items on their pets, such as collars or coats, to highlight even further that they are there. This is a smart move.

As a personal injury lawyer, I deal with the aftermath of serious injuries but these are accidents that we can help prevent by just taking that bit more care.

Taking those extra few minutes to make those extra safety checks could prove crucial to you or somebody you meet in the dark.

Wrap up warm, wrap up safe and enjoy the joys of the cold, dark winter nights.

You can contact Carol on 01228 516666 or click here to send her an email.

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