Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging road users to see and be seen through the coming winter months.

Darker days bring poor visibility and higher risk of collisions, simply because it can be harder to spot hazards. However, a combination of straightforward actions can reduce the risks for all road users.

“Research has shown that we can lose 40% of our eyesight over a number of years, without even noticing,” GEM Road Safety Officer Neil Worth. “So booking an eye test is a good way to ensure we can see and react to what’s happening around us when we’re at the wheel.

“Keeping vehicle lights clean and free of dirt means they’ll do their job more effectively, while ensuring your screen wash is topped up will help you gain the best view through your windscreen – particularly important when bad weather reduces visibility. Check wipers, too, as they do a vital job in keeping your windscreen clear and unobstructed.”

Other tips for maximising visibility:

  • Remove ice and snow from lights, windows and mirrors before setting off
  • Rain and spray make driving difficult. Slow down and use dipped headlights
  • Glare from low winter sun can reduce visibility. In some circumstances, especially in the early morning and late afternoon, glare can leave drivers with no forward vision at all. Reflected glare from wet roads can also seriously compromise what we’re able to see. In these circumstances, slow down and be prepared to stop
  • Don’t delay switching on your lights. Even if your view of the road ahead is good, you may be much less visible to other road users, especially if you drive a dark-coloured vehicle
  • Daytime running lights alone are not sufficient to make you properly visible to oncoming traffic and other road users, especially in foggy or wet conditions. Switch on dipped headlights and make yourself properly visible