Road safety charity the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) launches its winter driving campaign this week to help motorists prepare their cars and drive them safely this winter.

The campaign includes a website, drivingadvice.org.uk, containing advice, traffic updates and weather forecasts. The IAM will also be publishing weekly news releases and driving tips in reaction to the winter weather as part of the campaign.

This campaign comes in response to winter’s more dangerous driving conditions which cause an increase in accident rates:

  • Slippery roads (due to weather) contributed to 13,420 road casualties in 2011, and related to 79 fatalities.
  • Rain, sleet, snow or fog was the cause of 1,786 reported road casualties in 2011.
  • Travelling too fast for conditions was a contributing factor in 13,425 accidents in 2011.
  • The amount of rainfall during December 2011 was 34 per cent above the average for that time of year.
  • During February 2012, freezing rain fell across northern England causing treacherous conditions on roads and pavements; 100 road accidents were reported from Cumbria, and A&E departments dealt with hundreds of falls on icy pavements.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The first thing you need to ask when the weather is bad is whether you need to travel, and if so, if there are alternatives to the roads.

“When you are on the road, be prepared to slow down and take extra care, particularly on bends and roads which are open to the elements.

“Our winter driving campaign will provide comprehensive advice and guidance for those who do decide to travel, keeping them as safe as possible.”