Clearview Intelligence Logo
Clearview Intelligence Logo

+44 (0)1908 088008 or email us

Can driving on roads in Winter be made safer in the UK?

As leading providers of traffic data solutions, traffic data collection and traffic management systems, at Clearview Traffic the subject of road safety is close to our hearts – particularly at this time of year.

Icy Weather Conditions

Winter driving conditions are very different from other times of the year. Now that the clocks have gone back, most drivers make more journeys during the hours of darkness and that – coupled with more frequent adverse weather conditions – makes driving at this time of year far more hazardous.

Rain reduces the driver’s ability to see, and greatly increases the distance required to slow down and stop. It is generally advised that drivers require about TWICE the normal braking distance. The use of dipped beam rather than main beam during rain to reduce glare is also recommended.

Rain and standing water generally makes road markings such as white lining ineffective, as the covering of water reduces their ability to reflect.

Their performance and that of traditional reflective roads studs is further impaired by the general build-up of road detritus that is more prevalent in Winter due, for example, to road gritting.

Are our white lines good enough?

The Road Safety Markings Association thinks not. Their report, “Life Lines: A survey into the quality of road safety markings on Britain’s roads” surveyed 7,250km of white lines across England, Scotland and Wales to see if minimum standards are being met, and whether the most cost-effective road safety measure is being applied and maintained adequately to save lives.

Overall the latest survey shows that the quality of road markings on the UK’s roads is in rapid decline, with the following findings:

  • 61% of Scotland’s single and dual carriageway road markings are invisible or fall into the warning zone.
  • 40% markings on dual carriageways in Wales need immediate replacement.
  • 38% of markings on motorways and 36% on dual carriageways maintained by the Highways Agency (HA) in England need immediate or scheduled repairs.
  • 25% of markings on HA single carriageways need replacing.
  • 22% of markings on English Local Authority single carriageways are in a critical condition and a further 20% need replacing.
  • On average, 25% of markings on English Local Authority dual carriageways are in the failed or warning zone.

The Department for Transports own statistics show that more road fatalities occur on rural roads during the hours of darkness in wet and flooded conditions than any other road type it is often this road type that suffers most from poorly maintained road markings.

Technology has the solution

Winter drivers can benefit from a more fundamental technological approach to night-time road and driver safety, with the intelligent road stud, exclusively developed by Astucia.

These active studs are not affected by rain or standing water, as they have an integral light source which is visible for up to 900m – increasing driver safety by providing a clear view of the road ahead, as demonstrated in the video simulation below:

The power management system within the Astucia SolarLite road stud ensures that the stud functions from dusk to dawn 365 nights a year, even through the harshest of Winter conditions.

Proven to reduce night time accidents by over 70% on current UK installations, the Astucia SolarLites provide a smart, simple and sustainable solution to improving road safety especially in the Winter months, when so many of us are driving in less than optimal visibility conditions.

If you’d like to find out more about our traffic data solutions, traffic data collection, road safety solutions, intelligent road studs and traffic management systems, please feel free to contact us here.

Author: |Date Published: January 2014

Links: Route Safety

All Insights

Intelligence for your inbox - sign up today

Clearview Intelligence Limited® Head Office, Aurora House, Deltic Avenue, Rooksley, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK13 8LW, U.K.