Take up the opportunity for flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations when offered to protect yourself and others.
Look out for any vulnerable family or friends – is there anything you can do to help them? Are there any hazards in their homes? Do their slippers need replacing? We attend falls to older and vulnerable people all year round
Wear appropriate shoes when outside especially during icy weather. We typically see an increase in slips and trips during colder spells
Heat homes to at least 18C (65F). You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer
Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and reduce drafts – if you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, as long as you’re comfortable
Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so
Wear several layers of light clothes. They trap warm air better than one bulky layer
Check your home medicines cabinet – is everything in date? Restock with essentials including cold remedies, pain killers, indigestion tablets and diarrhoea and constipation remedies
Keep up to date with any repeat prescriptions you or your family or friends need
When was the last time your vehicle was serviced? If your car is safer, so are you
Carry some useful items in your vehicles such as a blanket and a spade for colder and possible snowy weather
Wear bright colours at night. Can you be clearly seen as a pedestrian or cyclist? If walking at dusk or at night use a torch
You should only call 999 in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency
People who are not facing a serious emergency should make alternative arrangements such seeking advice from a GP or pharmacist so we can focus on those who need us most. If its urgent but not an emergency you can call NHS 111 or seek advice from 111 online at 111.nhs.uk
As we head into the Winter months, it is a good time to refresh our knowledge on keeping ourselves and others safe on the roads whilst we adapt our driving to adverse weather conditions.
Preparing Your Vehicle:
Lights are clean and working
Battery is fully charged
Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
Tyre condition, tread depth and pressure (of all the tyres, including the spare)
Brakes are working well
Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil
Driving in snow/ice/fog/rain and floods:
Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. In difficult conditions, speed limits can often be too fast.
Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
To slow down on ice and snow, lift the gas early to allow the speed to drop sufficiently to select a lower gear. If you need to use the brakes, use very gentle pressure depressing the clutch early to avoid stalling the engine.
Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges.
Driving in Fog
When driving in Fog, do not ‘hang on’ to the rear lights of the car in front as you will be too close to be able to brake safely.
Beware of speeding up immediately when visibility improves slightly. In patchy fog you could find yourself ‘driving blind’ again only moments later.
Wet & Flooded Roads
On wet and flooded roads remember your stopping distances will be at least twice your normal braking distance.
Avoid the deepest water – which is usually near the kerb.
Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep – look for an alternative route.
If you decide to risk it, drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch.
Be aware of the bow wave from approaching vehicles – operate an informal ‘give way’ with approaching vehicles. Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood
Aquaplaning is caused by driving too fast into surface water. When the tyre tread cannot channel away enough water, the tyre(s) lose contact with the road and your car will float on a wedge of water. Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing speed in wet conditions. Having the correct tyre pressure and tyre tread depth will maximise your tyres’ ability to maintain their road grip. If it happens, ease off the accelerator and brakes until your speed drops sufficiently for the car tyres to make contact with the road again.
Avoiding falls at home
Tips for preventing falls in the home include:
immediately mopping up spillages
removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
using non-slip mats and rugs
making sure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit
organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
getting help to do things you’re unable to do safely on your own
not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems
Further help and advice on falls prevention is available here: