Winter Driving And Cycling Tips
Whether you’re cycling, running or road tripping this winter, our guide has everything you need to know about staying safe on the roads this snowy season.
Mud, rain, snow, ice, fog, strong winds – the winter weather brings with it a host of conditions that make driving a lot more risky. During the holiday season, many people will be travelling up and down the country, whether they’re visiting relatives for Christmas or taking a holiday break.
The UK Highways Agency has provided a great checklist, using the acronym “POWDERY”, to help travellers avoid accidents and breakdowns:
- PETROL (or diesel) - Have you got enough? Do you know where to fill up?
- OIL — Check levels once a month.
- WATER — Check radiator and screen-wash regularly.
- DAMAGE — Check wipers, lights etc for signs of wear and tear or damage, and make sure windscreens, windows and lights are clear of ice and snow.
- ELECTRICS —Check lights, indicators and controls are working properly.
- RUBBER TYRES — Are they well inflated, with good tread and free from damage?
- YOU — Are you fit to drive? Have you slept well? Are you taking any medication that could make it unsafe for you to drive?
Furthermore, there are a number of items you should make sure you bring with you on your winter road trip.
- First aid kit
- Jump leads
- Torch and spare batteries
- Warning triangle
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Warm clothes and blankets
- Road map (In case the GPS signal fails)
Make sure to check the weather and traffic reports each day of your trip, so that you can plan your journey accordingly. Allow extra time to get to your destination, in case of bad weather or inaccessible roads.
Cycling & Running
One of the most important factors to take into consideration when road running or cycling in winter weather is low visibility. However, with the Dickies Workwear range of hi-vis clothing, it will be much easier for motorists to spot you and keep their distance.
A number of these products come in two colours – orange and yellow. We also stock children’s high-visibility waistcoats, so that they can also be kept safe, whether on their bikes or walking the dog.
Another factor to consider is the cold temperatures. Make sure you’re kitted out with thermal socks, a warm fleece and a durable waterproof jacket. Runners can also invest in cosy headgear and thermal gloves. And, if you’re walking on icy or muddy roads, a pair of sturdy, supportive boots is an important investment. If you’re a dedicated cyclist, consider investing in a winter bike.
According to Road Cycling UK, “winter bikes are typically made from metal – heavier but cheaper and hard-wearing.” Their distinguishing features include mudguards and wider winter tires. Mudguards, as the name suggests, protect you from mud, water and everything else that gets kicked up from your tires as you cycle down the road.
It is also essential that your tires are tougher than your summer options, due to increased exposure to grit, road salt and other debris.
Road Cycling UK also recommends the installation of bike lights. “Two lights at the front, and two at the rear, one on flashing mode and one steady. The former helps attract a driver’s attention; the latter makes it easier for them to gauge distance.” However you’re crossing the country this winter, we hope you journey safe, Dickies fans.