WITH the darker evenings coupled with poor weather conditions, winter can be a dangerous time to be out and about in the car, as normally safe roads become more treacherous.
This week sees Road Safety Week being promoted across the UK and Warwickshire &andNorthamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) paramedics are doing their bit to help raise awareness of road safety by encouraging drivers to make sure they’re prepared for the colder months so that they can minimise the chances of getting into trouble on the road.
Philippa Gibbs, WNAA paramedic and airbase manager, said: “Almost half of all the rescue missions we attend are road traffic accidents. However, there are some simple checks that drivers can carry out to ensure their vehicle is as safe as possible.
“Tyre pressure and condition should be checked regularly, and don’t forget to make sure your spare tyre is puncture free. It’s also important to test fog lights, brake lights and, of course, the brakes themselves. Make sure your oil levels and your screen wash are both topped up, and that your radiator has anti-freeze added to it.”
Unfortunately it’s not possible to completely prevent break downs or accidents. So WNAA are also advising people to be prepared and ensure that their cars are equipped with items such as warm clothing, a warning triangle and high-visibility jacket, water, a first aid kit and a torch.
The charity is also encouraging people to carry one of their In Case of Emergency cards with them at all times, so that next of kin can be should an accident occur.
Philippa said: “If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, it’s vital that we can contact your next of kin as soon as possible, and mobile phones cannot be relied on as a source of contact because of the potential for them to break, lose battery or lose signal.
“The easiest thing to do is to go onto our website and request a card – this ensures we know who you are, who we should contact, and also any underlying medical conditions that you have.”
The charity is also urging people to support them this winter so that they can continue to help the sick and injured by administering lifesaving treatment on the scene of accidents, and take patients directly to the best hospital for their injuries – making a real difference to people’s chances of survival and recovery.
WNAA attend over 1,000 missions every single year, with each mission costing approximately £1,400. As a charity that receives no Government or National Lottery funding, WNAA is hoping that people can donate in order to keep their yellow helicopter flying high so that their paramedics can continue to save lives.
If you would like to donate to WNAA or download one of their In Case Of Emergency cards, please visit www.wnaa.co.uk or call 08454 130 999