New Year is a time when we consider our goals for the next twelve months, whether that is to start using the unused gym membership, quit drinking alcohol in the afternoon or stop not winning the lottery. Perhaps you have resolved to change some of your driving habits.
No matter what, you must always be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you can see to be clear. This is inevitably shortened in the dark. During hours of darkness use your lights to improve your view, using full beam whenever possible without dazzling other road users.
It's your responsibility to ensure that you're fit to drive. The NHS recommends having an eye test every two years. Many people are entitled to free examinations.
Adverse weather conditions are the cause of thousands of road accidents every year. Make sure you check the weather forecast before embarking upon a long journey and heed any weather warnings. If the weather is really bad, consider whether your journey is necessary. If it is, it may be worth taking public transport or walking if it's a short distance.
It's important to ensure your vehicle is well maintained whatever the weather. Check fluid levels, lights, windscreen wipers, tyre pressures and depths weekly. Windows, mirrors, number plates and lights should be kept clean at all times.
Anticipation is key to staying safe on the roads. Never assume that another motorist has seen you, just because you have spotted them. Expect the unexpected – particularly at junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts.
The IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter, including various types of weather. Check it out before you travel.