Some emergencies, like severe weather, cause disruption and delay and in extreme cases can leave you stranded.
By following Ready Scotland’s advice, you can more easily adapt and respond to disruption - you might even be able to avoid it all together. Keep yourself and those around you safe.
What Can I Do?
- During severe weather, consider whether you need to travel right now, or if you can wait until the weather improves;
- Check the weather forecast, and keep up to date with the latest weather warnings;
- Think about alternative routes or modes of travel and check public transport routes;
- Traffic Scotland host an interactive map which provides information on all incidents, roadworks, and travel warnings on Scotland’s major roads. You can also check on road conditions using live traffic cameras across the country before you set off;
- If you do decide to drive, make sure your car is ready for a journey in poor weather e.g. check your tyre pressure, treads, lights and fuel levels;
- In winter, think about getting winter tyres or snow socks for your vehicle;
- Pack an emergency kit in your car.
Emergency Kit Basic List
- A first aid kit;
- Battery jump leads;
- A torch and spare batteries;
- A map for unplanned diversions;
- A blanket;
- A reflective warning sign.
Emergency Kit Cold Weather Additions
- An ice scraper and de-icer;
- A shovel for snow;
- Warm clothes and boots;
- Food, and a warm drink in a flask.
Before Travelling in Poor Weather
- If travelling by public transport, be prepared for potential disruptions with warm clothes and boots, food and a warm drink in a flask;
- Tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive;
- Allow extra time for your journey;
- Take a fully charged mobile and charger with you;
- Carry one or more emergency contact numbers on your mobile phone or in your wallet/purse. This means emergency responders can contact people who know you, and get important medical information as quickly as possible.
During a Journey
- Avoid flooded roads: six inches of fast-flowing water can knock over an adult and two feet of water can move a car;
- Adapt your driving style to the conditions. Your stopping distance is increased 10x when driving in snow and ice, and doubles in wet weather, so it makes sense to slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front;
- It’s not always obvious that the road is icy. Look for clues such as ice on the pavement or on your windscreen. If your tyres are making virtually no noise on the road, it could be a sign that you’re driving on ice;
- Don’t brake heavily in snow or ice – it will just lock your wheels and you will skid further. Consider changing to a lower gear;
- If your vehicle loses its grip, or ‘aquaplanes’ on surface water, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Do not brake or steer suddenly because you’ll have no control of the steering or brakes.
- Ensure you (and your bike) are visible to other road users by wearing bright and light reflective clothing;
- Consider heavier duty tyres to cope with slippery surfaces and get a routine bike maintenance check;
- Get a good set of mud guards.
- Search British Cycling for their useful range of Ridesmart guides to help prepare for winter weather cycling.