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See and be seen on the roads this winter

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The clocks have gone back, the nights are closing in and the risk of a road collision is reaching its peak, according to breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

This, combined with the kind of heavy rain and strong winds we can expect at this time of the year, means visibility will be reduced and people will be much harder to spot on dark roads.

GEM is urging everyone to ensure they can see – and be seen – on their journeys.

“It’s so important we all ensure we are as visible as possible and can clearly see others on the road,” says GEM road safety adviser James Luckhurst.

“A combination of straightforward actions can reduce risks for drivers and for anyone they might meet on their journeys.

“Ensuring we see as much as possible by cleaning car windows as well as our spectacles – and helping others see us by turning our lights on – will help us all to stay safe and will mean we’re doing our bit to keep others around us safe as well.”

Reduce danger with these visibility tips

For drivers:

  • Choose the safe option of using lights. They won’t just help you see other vehicles and hazards… they will help others see you as well.
  • When visibility is reduced it’s important to slow down so you have more time to deal with hazards in the road. Try to avoid braking suddenly to give the vehicle behind time to react.
  • Light up front and rear. Don’t rely on automatic lights which may well be inadequate and won’t help you to see anything on the road. Switch on dipped headlights and make yourself properly visible.
  • Daytime running lights alone will not be sufficient to make you properly visible to oncoming traffic and other road users, especially in foggy or wet conditions.
  • Stay focused on the road and scan for hazards. Expect the unexpected – particularly children out and about for Hallowe’en or Bonfire Night.
  • Clean your glasses, windows and headlights. In this way you’ll get the best possible view of the road, in daylight, twilight or darkness.

For pedestrians and cyclists:

  • Being visible to others should be your priority. Fluorescent colours help you be more visible during the day. Reflective materials make you more visible in low-light conditions and at night.
  • Using lights and reflectors on bikes at night is a legal requirement: a white light showing from the front and a red light from the rear.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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