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Autumn Road Safety: A Guide for Business Owners and Fleet Managers

Autumn is officially upon us, starting Saturday 23rd September, bringing with it a host of weather changes and driving challenges. National Highways is urging drivers, especially business owners and fleet managers, to be prepared for the varying and often unpredictable weather conditions autumn can bring.

TRIP Guide

National Highways has introduced a handy guide, TRIP, to aid motorists in preparing their vehicles for autumn travel. TRIP stands for Top-up, Rest, Inspect, and Prepare. This guide is especially crucial for business owners and fleet managers to ensure the safety and readiness of their vehicles.

  • Top-up: Ensure fuel, oil, and screenwash are adequately filled, and electric vehicles are fully charged.

  • Rest: Avoid fatigue-related accidents by taking regular breaks and planning journeys in advance.

  • Inspect: Regularly check tyre pressure, tread, and ensure all vehicle lights are functioning correctly.

  • Prepare: Have a plan for all weathers and keep a seasonal kit in the vehicle for unforeseen delays or breakdowns.

Weather Precautions

Autumn weather is often wetter and windier, making travel disruptions more likely. Checking weather forecasts before traveling can help in planning the journey better and avoiding potential delays due to bad weather. National Highways collaborates with the Met Office to keep road users informed of changing traffic conditions due to weather variations.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Antifreeze Levels: Ensure they are adequate to avoid engine damage during cold conditions.

  • Battery Check: Ensure it is in good working order as damp conditions can affect its performance.

  • Tyre Check: Maintain legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm for optimal steering, grip, and braking distance.

  • Lighting: Ensure all vehicle lights are working, and windows and lights are clean for optimal visibility.

Driving Tips

  • Reduce Speed: Ground frost reduces traction; avoid hard braking or abrupt acceleration.

  • Clear Windscreen: Keep de-icer in the car and allow more time in the morning to clear frost from the windscreen.

  • Avoid Glare: Be cautious of glare from the lower lying autumn sun and use headlights and fog lights when necessary.

  • Beware of Leaves: Fallen leaves on wet, slippery, and frosty roads can cause skid hazards.

Journey Planning

Planning journeys in advance is crucial, especially on unfamiliar routes. During severe weather events, drivers should follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates. National Highways’ website offers a plethora of travel tips and advice for negotiating severe weather, aimed at improving driver confidence during the colder, darker autumn nights.

Autumn brings a set of challenges for drivers, with its damp, cold, and foggy conditions. Business owners and fleet managers should prioritise vehicle and driver preparedness to navigate through this season safely. By following the TRIP guide, staying informed about the weather, maintaining vehicles properly, and planning journeys meticulously, we can all ensure safer roads this autumn.

For more detailed information, tips, and advice on safe autumn travel, visit the National Highways website and stay updated with the Met Office for accurate weather forecasts. Prioritise safety and be autumn-ready on the roads!


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