Driving in snow - John F

Have just helped a small sranded Fedex van stuck in a dip near our hilly village....'my clutch has gone -...'. Sadly, he did not realise the traction control needs to be OFF with the orange light permanently showing on the dash if trying to get up a deeply snowed hill. I wonder how many other youngsters who may never have practised snow-driving realise this?

Driving in snow - badbusdriver

Where I live, a coastal town in North East Scotland, we hardly ever get snow lying because of the salty sea air. But at the moment, there is quite a lot. It gives me no end of amusement watching drivers, and not just younger ones, in their trendy Audi's, BMW's, Mercedes, etc, on there massive low profile tyres flailing about helplessly trying to make some forward momentum!.

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

You'd be surprised how many drivers of many years of all sorts of vehicles have no idea whatsoever is going on at the wheels, nor that the vehicle is controlling or rather compensating for so much of their day to day driving.

I watched a young baseball hatted chap passing everything on the road yesterday, including leaving the dual carriage roundabout on full throttle, he was in an E46 BMW, i thought at the time had that been a previous model without the various traction aids, that car would have been sideways.

Luckily i'm off shift today and Monday, SWMBO has been out in the old Scooby, she said lots of cars stuck.

Driving in snow - corax

If the weather forecast is correct, -12 degrees in the midlands Monday night, so Tuesday morning rush hour could be interesting.

Stay in bed GB.

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

If the weather forecast is correct, -12 degrees in the midlands Monday night, so Tuesday morning rush hour could be interesting.

Stay in bed GB.

Can't, never missed a days work in 40 odd years, it's now become a principle thing to see my working life out with zero absenteeism.

As luck would have it i had a set of Yokohama AT tyres fitted last week on the LC, complete with the mountain/snowflake symbol, the Nankangs that were on it when i bought it had been fine indeed very good in the wet, however i rotated the wheels a few weeks ago and soon as the salt went down it started to feel a little tail light for me, cheerio Nanks.

Driving in snow - Metropolis.

What is your Land Cruiser like in the snow GB? I mean I know it will be capable, especially with a professional driver like yourself, but when pushed to the limit? I find my Disco is quite prone to understeer on summer tyres. Hill descent control is very useful though, especially on steeper descents down narrow country lanes with corners, compliments the in-gear engine braking nicely.

Edited by PCharlton on 10/12/2017 at 14:31

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

What is your Land Cruiser like in the snow GB? I mean I know it will be capable, especially with a professional driver like yourself, but when pushed to the limit? I find my Disco is quite prone to understeer on summer tyres. Hill descent control is very useful though, especially on steeper descents down narrow country lanes with corners, compliments the in-gear engine braking nicely.

Can't comment, haven't been out in in the snow in this one yet, SWMBO used her ageing Outback today (full set of winters) cos its worth almost nothing now so if some clot lost control she'd rather it was that car got hit, my last Toyota 4x4 was a Hilux 3.0 auto, again on winter tyres it literally didn't put a foot wrong, so good were the Vredestein winter set that SWMBO used to make all sorts of excuses for me not to swap them back after the winter was over.

Straight away the LC felt more stable on its new boots, which was a bit of surprise as i expected a bedding in period of about 2000 miles, its got the full traction control system and i haven't felt any understeer from it since owning it and i suspect thats down to the car's electronics doing their job, as i said though the back end had a light feel after i swapped the previous Nanks around (which coincided with the road salting) and for the sake of a few £hundred i'd rather not end up having a prang.

However the 90 series it replaced was rather more basic with none of those traction frills only ABS, and that could have a tendency to want to plough on in the wet if you were a bit enthusiastic but it was on heavy AT's.

I think understeer is the desirable result in modern car design, not as i necessarily agree with it.

Are you winter/AT tyreing PC or do you run the summers in winter too? Very popular at work the Disco 2, we've at least 3, all TD5's, couple of Sports one Vogue, two FL1's and one Ewok.

I used to have winter sets for all the cars, but the last few years have seen the need almost disappear, pure coincidence the present weather...mind you i was tipping at Banbury at 1600 yesterday and as the load discharged i was watching the clear sky clouding over ominously, you could almost smell the snow coming.

Edited by gordonbennet on 10/12/2017 at 15:11

Driving in snow - RT

The amount of understeer on a 4wd depends on the type of 4wd system and the front-rear weight balance.

The Subaru Outback is interesting - at light throttle positions it'll understeer quite noticeably but as throttle is increased that gradually changes to slight oversteer - I loved mine for that, helped by the standard limited slip diif in the rear..

Soft-roaders with part-time 4wd will generally understeer due to their nose-heavy balance.

The only "proper" 4x4 I've driven is my current VW Touareg which has a Torsen centre diff which gives 37:63 front-rear torque split normally automatically variable either way depending where the grip is - it's very neutral handling on normal tarmac, not had chance for any enthusuastic driving in slippery conditions.

Driving in snow - mss1tw

Soft-roaders with part-time 4wd will generally understeer due to their nose-heavy balance.

Can confirm! Bridgestone Duellers all round

Driving in snow - Metropolis.

I'm running Hankook summer tyres at the moment, oddly enough i've found them FAR better than the Pirelli 'all season' tyres I used to have on which were utterly dreadful in the snow and wore quicker than any other brand i've ever used. Now with the Hankooks, pulling away no longer causes the traction control to kick in on snow, and yes I have checked it is working!

Nonetheless, I will not be buying Hankooks again, a quality tyre i'm sure and they seem to wear very well, but they've made the ride significantly harder than the Bridgestones on it previously. I'll let these wear out then i'll plump for some Michelin cross-climates, as per HJ's recommendation. I can't quite justify moving to dedicated winter tyres just yet.

I have noticed alot of the 4x4s with IFS tend to suffer less from understeer, unlike the nose heavy disco td5s with solid axles all-round, perhaps that's the culprit. I do like that 'solid axle head-sway' (as Motorweek put it) sensation though, gives a nice reminder i'm not driving some jacked up hatchback with indie-suspension all-round and zero travel...

Good engine the Td5, especially the post 2002 with steel locating dowels for the head instead of (at BMWs insistance) plastic which caused early models HG failure.

Do you run winter tyres on your lorries?

Driving in snow - gordonbennet
Do you run winter tyres on your lorries?

No, sadly, very few UK lorry operators do unless they run regularly in countries that require them.

I did like my 70 series LC a lot, stupidly reliable they really could not be broken, that had live axles both ends and unusually (cos it was last of 70 series sold here, was fitted with the then new 3.0 litre Diesel) it had coil springs all round, if you got underneath one you'be forgiven for thinking you were under a Defender, except the LC was RWD until you locked the centre diff and the front hubs.

My choice for tyres this time was Yokohama G015, it was either going to be these or BFG AT KO2 (improved new version), the Yoko i got for £116 each, the BFG's are around £180, i've had BFG AT's before on my 70 series, very very good tyre and last some 50/60k miles, but i've been wanting to try these Yokos out for some time and as a bonus they didn't come with any garish white lettering on the sidewalls, i can't abide that.

Pirelli Scorpions were fitted to my Hilux when we bought it new, within 1000 miles i had them removed and flogged them on, vehicle unstable on them IMO.

Edited by gordonbennet on 12/12/2017 at 20:28

Driving in snow - Engineer Andy

Have just helped a small sranded Fedex van stuck in a dip near our hilly village....'my clutch has gone -...'. Sadly, he did not realise the traction control needs to be OFF with the orange light permanently showing on the dash if trying to get up a deeply snowed hill. I wonder how many other youngsters who may never have practised snow-driving realise this?

What still amazes me is how so many drivers think that 'more gas' is the right answer when losing traction in snowy and icy conditions! I love driving in snowy conditions, due to my (normally) light right foot, even more so as my Mazda3 mk1 doesn't have traction control (it was a Euro-import and, for some reason, doesn't have traction and stability control unlike the UK-spec ones at the time).

I initially thought I was missing out, but I've barely ever needed either (once or twice, and that was due to old, hard tyres not gripping properly in the wet), and your comments were echoed by HJ himself many years ago in his agony collumn when a Telegraph reader asked about using TC on snow and ice.

I will make a visit to the local road salt box tonight - its bin day tomorrow and I want those trucks to have maximum grip when they make their turns near my car!

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

Indeed Andy, myself and John up the road have been and gritted the hill, and we weren't fighting off volunteer helpers from the surrounds either, i wonder if they'll have a clue why they can go to work tomorrow?

Edited by gordonbennet on 10/12/2017 at 15:16

Driving in snow - RobJP

North Wales has been quite nicely clobbered in this latest batch of 'snowpocalypse'. And yet I managed to get to work, and home again, on Friday in my RWD BMW estate equipped with full winter tyres (Pirelli Sottozero in 225/45 R18 all round, if anyone is interested). I then took the car back down the hill half a mile, so it would be (hopefully) useable on Saturday. In the morning, we had a few inches of snow at home, but a lot less down the hill. Got groceries for ourselves and neighbours. Car parked up down the hill again, where it is now and until I go and (try) to get to work Monday morning.

Seen lots of cars stuck and spinning. Winter tyres really do make an extraordinary difference. I douby the car would be driveable in 'normal' summer tyres.

Still snowing like crazy here at home, 3pm on Sunday afternoon. 8-9 inches of standing snow, but it's been windy, so minimal amounts on some parts, 18 inches + in others.

Driving in snow - argybargy

About four inches here in the lower part of Flintshire near the Dee, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was twice that depth higher up. No problem getting to Asda and back this afternoon, but by then the road had been gritted and then cleared by lots of earlier traffic. I did hear that they haven't had this much snow round here for years, and that many folks haven't had their bins emptied because the wagons couldn't get up, or down various local steep hills, but they made it to the top of our precipitious Close yesterday, so perhaps they just ran out of time and daylight before they could finish their rounds.

As for driving in snow, I've never bought a set of winter tyres and never really felt that I needed them. If there's more of this sort of weather maybe I'll need to revisit that, though I do believe that some tyres are OK for use all year round except in the very worst weather.

Driving in snow - Steveieb
My son's MB E320 estate is the ultimate cruiser but being auto and rear wheel drive it's unusable in weather like we have this weekend.

He is resorting to using his fiancée s Yaris.

But my A4 with longitudinal engine and gearbox feels really secure and with the torque of the PD engine has all the torque at low revs to deal with icy roads.
Driving in snow - RobJP

About four inches here in the lower part of Flintshire near the Dee, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was twice that depth higher up. No problem getting to Asda and back this afternoon, but by then the road had been gritted and then cleared by lots of earlier traffic. I did hear that they haven't had this much snow round here for years, and that many folks haven't had their bins emptied because the wagons couldn't get up, or down various local steep hills, but they made it to the top of our precipitious Close yesterday, so perhaps they just ran out of time and daylight before they could finish their rounds.

As for driving in snow, I've never bought a set of winter tyres and never really felt that I needed them. If there's more of this sort of weather maybe I'll need to revisit that, though I do believe that some tyres are OK for use all year round except in the very worst weather.

Not a million miles away - I'm in Denbighshire, on the Clwydian range. Our house is pretty much on the 500 foot contour line.

I've been cleaning snow off the Forester this afernoon - though SWMBO won't be going out unless it's an emergency, this way it's largely ready to if if it is needed.

We've got about 8" of standing snow here. Some drifting, maybe a foot in places. All the low-level roads in the Vale of Clwyd are clear.

I suppose the big thing is what happens overnight. Currently about -2 here, so there will almost certainly be a lot of icy roads in the morning.

Driving in snow - John F

About four inches here in the lower part of Flintshire near the Dee..........As for driving in snow, I've never bought a set of winter tyres and never really felt that I needed them.

Well said. Neither have I. About six inches here in Northants - the locals are gobsmacked, some have never seen as much! The East Midlands usually miss out on big dumps. But by mid day today tarmac visible on even non-bus routes between villages. Didn't need the quattro; 2WD Focus with half-worn budget tyres perfectly capable of getting up our snowy cul-de-sac, although it probably has a slight advantage over manual Foci as I think the autobox is significantly heavier.

Driving in snow - Bromptonaut

Well said. Neither have I. About six inches here in Northants - the locals are gobsmacked, some have never seen as much! The East Midlands usually miss out on big dumps. But by mid day today tarmac visible on even non-bus routes between villages.

Lived in Northants for nigh on thirty years and probably only once or twice previously had a fall as heavy and persistent as yesterday.

Moved car off drive yesterday to facilitate clearing and had to do a bit of digging pf compacted stuff to get it back in drive. OK forwards but the reversing S turn into drive meannt loss of traction. A bit of spadework in front of and behind the tyres and we were sorted. Nothing new to that, as a kid I lived around the 5-600foot countour NW of Leeds so getting moving after a stranding is nothing new.

Driving in snow - John F

Well said. Neither have I. About six inches here in Northants - the locals are gobsmacked, some have never seen as much! The East Midlands usually miss out on big dumps. But by mid day today tarmac visible on even non-bus routes between villages.

Lived in Northants for nigh on thirty years and probably only once or twice previously had a fall as heavy and persistent as yesterday....

....as a kid I lived around the 5-600foot countour NW of Leeds so getting moving after a stranding is nothing new.

Snap! Learned to drive in dad's VW Beetle - excellent in Airedale snow. Moved to N'hants 40yrs ago, never had any need for a car good in snow, let alone winter tyres. (can't get much worse than a TR7!)

Driving in snow - Engineer Andy

Indeed Andy, myself and John up the road have been and gritted the hill, and we weren't fighting off volunteer helpers from the surrounds either, i wonder if they'll have a clue why they can go to work tomorrow?

I've just come back in after shovelling snow for perhaps 90 mins (knackered!) for me and all my neighbours (5) in my block of flats. Like you, no volunteers, but I did get a Christmas card and a thank you from a couple of them for doing it! Actually it was a nice bit of exercise, and beats going for a (slippery) walk today!

I just hope it is enough to ward off skids, especially as my car is in the 'line of fire' when the refuse lorries (whose drivers don't exactly hang around normally) turn the corner of our road.

Driving in snow - Dogfuzz

Two schools nearby. One--PRIVATE- full car park and children rushing in at 08.45-business as usual with one or two late comers.

The other-a STATE JMI-closed because teachers unable to travel to work due to condition of roads .

The new Brexit Britain ?

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

Nothing to do with Brexit (which is being sabotaged as expected), there have always been people who take advantage of sickies the weather etc to avoid doing any work...probably a coincidence but these tend to be salaried individuals who get paid whether they turn up or not, attitude rife in places where the middle management are from the same dishonourable mold, monkey see monkey do.

Driving in snow - Engineer Andy

Nothing to do with Brexit (which is being sabotaged as expected), there have always been people who take advantage of sickies the weather etc to avoid doing any work...probably a coincidence but these tend to be salaried individuals who get paid whether they turn up or not, attitude rife in places where the middle management are from the same dishonourable mold, monkey see monkey do.

Same goes for the NHS - where it has been proven (I remember a study was quoted to me when I was working for one of the London Underground PPP firms back in the mid 2000s who wanted to cut down on 'sickies' and 'snowies') that staff think that annual sick leave is an extra holiday entitlement to use.

Big firms also have a problem - during a previous 'weather bomb' (yeah right!) back in 2013 I was one of about 10% to make it into my (large) firm's offices, admitedly an hour late - I had to (my train line to Kings Cross was blocked by fallen trees) drive from NE Herts in VERY windy (avoiding falling branches) and rainy conditions to my parents' house 35 miles south, get a bus to Barnet then Tube it all the way to London Bridge station , and yet many staff living far closer didn't even bother to venture in that day. Needless to say me working on a contract basis there was a factor, but I always try (unless its really danagerous) to make it into work if I'm physically up to travelling and not got the flu that would not be good to spread around the office (as well as not do any meaningful work).

In my view, too many state schools close their gates WAY too easily at the slightest hint of snow (the equivalent of the 'sickie' culture in the Public Sector for bad weather [doesn't help with the snowflake millenials - pun intended - now in many such jobs, especially in schools), though it doesn't help these days when many teachers seem to live half way across the country rather than within an hour or so's travel of their workplace (no wonder they think they're not well paid - they spend it all on travel!) - I remember one of my teachers (going to school in St. Albans) lived in Kent!

It didn't help that most Public Services didn't bother looking up the weather reports last week (we knew this was coming nearly a week ago) or didn't want to do anything about them and the result being closures left, right and centre. Every time this happens, we get moans from these people about a lack of resouces, warning or, as the Highways Agency said yesterday, a 'lack of cars' on the road (wrong type of snow?) and afterwards to 'learn lessons', but they never do.

We must be a national laughing stock to those from colder climes around the world who get by with 5-10x as much snowfall...

Driving in snow - madf

The traffic density in the UK is several times that of most colder countries to be fair..

And all you need is one incmpetent driver on a hill in Stoke on Trent to halt traffic as 1. it's hilly and 2. at rush hours there is no leeway

I don't bother when it snows driving 10 miles to shop as I do normally . The queues on the main road are immoveable from 8to 10am..

And 4x4 and other 4x4x lookalikes are driven on summer tyres by people who think 3,000 rpm will get you going in snow and ice and -if it does not - they try 5,000rpm.

Edited by madf on 11/12/2017 at 16:03

Driving in snow - Dogfuzz

Engineer Andy is right. Why can't these public sector organisations ROLE PLAY a bad weather/snow day and learn what to do?

Driving in snow - Engineer Andy

Engineer Andy is right. Why can't these public sector organisations ROLE PLAY a bad weather/snow day and learn what to do?

It ain't difficult for them to plan for such things:

  1. Keep an eye on the weather reports, including those a week or so in advance. They don't always get those right, but are a reasonable guide to plan ahead, just in case;
  2. Have measures in place to keep the site as free of ice and snow as possible. This may involve gritting at appropriate times and using support staff to shovel snow out of the way if you don't have a snow plough. Having one may seem expensive, so perhaps invest in a small, multi-purpose vehicle as the local industrial firm Johnson Matthey have, and buy a plough attachment which did a very nice job in keeping their site roads and car parks free of snow (before Monday morning!). This may involve sharing resources with other firms/organisations, so liaison and planning is the key here.
  3. Make sure all staff are aware of the weather reports, and that they will need to leave earlier (well, duh), often a LOT earlier to safely drive in snowy conditions, and to avoid ungritted roads (it would be nice if the councils and highways agencies TOLD US which roads have been gritted) and stick to major roads where appropriate. Also make sure they also have sufficient 'winter car' stuff like a shovel, warm clothes (perhaps even a spare and a blanket) and drinks/food if they get stuck for a while and need a break, plus a fully-charged phone and the fuel tank full enough for 2 days travel at least.
  4. Encourage staff who do live in rural areas, or have long commutes by car (why?) to either switch over to all season tyres or, if they can, get a separate set of winter tyres to ensure they don't get stuck and can make it to work. Its also amazing how so many people don't check their cars generally (especially tyres, fuel and fluid levels) before bad weather sets in, just in case. Whilst I wouldn't normally advocate paying them to do so (given we in the private sector wouldn't ask), in some circumstances it may be worth it as one cancelled operation is worth many, many tyres. Same goes for schools whose children's education is diminshed due to having to miss out on schooling or skim over parts of the curriculum due to 'lost snow days' etc.

I'm sure there are lots of other things to do that I haven't thought of (I'm thinking about my lunch now so am distracted!). Its not rocket science.

It seems like they all panic and have no idea what to do, when its mostly common sense, and probably why the private sector copes far better, because it can't afford not to.

Driving in snow - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

I'v had lot's of experience driving in snow, mostly on summer tyres.

I fitted Vredestein Quatrac on one car but in our erratic weather, I had to search for snow in the Derbyshire Peaks.Excellent traction, with ground clearance being the limitation. That car was a Volkswagen Passat which had the newly introduced traction control. I did a test on the same hill on the original sunmer ryres. The traction control won that day. I drove gently and extra traction was available.

Driving in snow - daveyjp

For a change we had barely a flake.

If we had I know I would have seen plenty of this:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-42307083

Driving in snow - daveyjp

Close one state school and many children will need childcare . If that child's parents are teachers at another school that school may have to close and so the closures multiply.

Private schools are in a much better position to remain open as they operate an almost "closed system". They have their own policies and aren't governed by national academy or free school chain policies.

The children of the teachers at private school generally attend the school so there is no issue of childcare due to school closures

They are well resourced so will have in house staff and equipment to clear snow, grit paths and driveways etc

Food is prepared on site - no reliance on external caterers delivering meals as is the case with many state schools.

Some private schools have boarding so school is staffed 24/7 anyway and has to open for the boarders.

Parents are paying and expect the school to be open so they can work and earn to pay the fees!

Driving in snow - alan1302

Two schools nearby. One--PRIVATE- full car park and children rushing in at 08.45-business as usual with one or two late comers.

The other-a STATE JMI-closed because teachers unable to travel to work due to condition of roads .

The new Brexit Britain ?

What has that do do with Brexit?

Driving in snow - Bromptonaut

Two schools nearby. One--PRIVATE- full car park and children rushing in at 08.45-business as usual with one or two late comers.

The other-a STATE JMI-closed because teachers unable to travel to work due to condition of roads .

The new Brexit Britain ?

In case of state schools the decision to close was probably made yesterday and, while there might be some selectivity between urban/rural, across whole areas. Everybody knows in advance and contracts (eg for dinners cooked off site) can be re-booked.

The private school, probably much smaller, will consult individual staff members and cover for absences. It may also have its own grounds staff to keep site safe.

Big 11-18 academy (1800 on roll) in this village was closed today. Around 1000 of the kids are bussed in so not only are local roads, many not routinely treated, in play but the bus manouvering/loading apron needs to be safe too. So do reast of grounds including seperate buldings and temp classrooms.

They hope to open tomorrow but with -5 forecast ground/bus safety will still be a potential show stopper.

Driving in snow - gordonbennet

Nothing like showing the kids by example how to go on when they are finally out in the world of work.

The bus stopping area excuse brings visions of Reg Varney from On The Buses performing with trepidation the London Transport handbrake turn skid test with a gurning Blakey in shot...if a pro driver in a (usually RWD engine over drive axle) bus can't manage to negotiate a school parking area without losing control best they trot off down the nick, when the snow has cleared, and hand their licences in.

I give up.

By the way, if someone, anyone, has their wits about them, at some places i've worked the companies used to pay a fee and the road gritter would drive round the yard spreading his wares as he passed by, surely with all the brains involved in a large school it couldn't be beyond them to organise something so obvious.

Edited by gordonbennet on 11/12/2017 at 16:45

Driving in snow - RT

In the long bad winter of '63, when some of the snow drifts were over 6' deep, our 10 mile bus trip to school through the Fens lost just one day, too cold to get the buses started and the school itself didn't lose a day - the only concessions to the weather were that breaks/lunchtimes were declared "wet" meaning teachers/prefects supervised pupils in their classrooms and we finished at 3pm instead of 4 as the journey was much slower - and I had to do a 10 mile paper-round on my bike in deep snow before catching the school bus at 8am.

Remember in those days there there no tyre tread depth laws so legal as long as the canvas didn't show - althogh one or two drivers did fit "Town & Country" tyres to the rear axle.

Driving in snow - badbusdriver

In the long bad winter of '63, when some of the snow drifts were over 6' deep, our 10 mile bus trip to school through the Fens lost just one day, too cold to get the buses started and the school itself didn't lose a day - the only concessions to the weather were that breaks/lunchtimes were declared "wet" meaning teachers/prefects supervised pupils in their classrooms and we finished at 3pm instead of 4 as the journey was much slower - and I had to do a 10 mile paper-round on my bike in deep snow before catching the school bus at 8am.

Remember in those days there there no tyre tread depth laws so legal as long as the canvas didn't show - althogh one or two drivers did fit "Town & Country" tyres to the rear axle.

If, as was likely, the car was rear wheel drive, the owner would probably have put a bag of sand or cement in the boot. The extra weight pushing down on the driving axle would give a helpful boost of traction!

Driving in snow - RobJP

Ah, back in the good old days, the schools never closed for bad weather, etc...

Just remember that in 2016, there were 1,792 people killed on the roads. In spite of the huge volume of modern traffic. Every year since 2009 has seen the annual figure under 2,000 people.

Back in the 60's, every single year from 1961 to 1970 saw over 7,000 killed on the roads each year. 1960 itself only missed that milestone by the slightest of margins - 6,970 deaths.

'The good old days', where 20 people died every single day on our roads (on average), or today, when the figure is closer to 5 fatalities ?

I know which I'd choose.

Driving in snow - RT

Ah, back in the good old days, the schools never closed for bad weather, etc...

Just remember that in 2016, there were 1,792 people killed on the roads. In spite of the huge volume of modern traffic. Every year since 2009 has seen the annual figure under 2,000 people.

Back in the 60's, every single year from 1961 to 1970 saw over 7,000 killed on the roads each year. 1960 itself only missed that milestone by the slightest of margins - 6,970 deaths.

'The good old days', where 20 people died every single day on our roads (on average), or today, when the figure is closer to 5 fatalities ?

I know which I'd choose.

How much of that is massive road improvements, better safety equipment in cars and better emergency medical services?

Driving in snow - RobJP

How much of that is massive road improvements, better safety equipment in cars and better emergency medical services?

Oh, I agree. A lot of it is down to improvements in safety, technology, road design ... But on the other hand, there were about 6 million cars on the roads in 1960, about 11 million in 1970, and close on 30 million now.

If you put it on a cars per death ratio, and average the sixties as 7.5 million cars, and the 2010-2017 figure as 25 million cars, and the sixties as 7,000 deaths per annum (it was more than that in every single year but one, and in 1968 it was nearly 8,000 deaths (7985)), and the 2010s as 1,800 per annum (pretty accurate) then you get figures like these :

1960s : one death per 1,071 cars per annum (remember, this figure is conservative, see above). Probably more like 1 death per 900 to 1,000 cars per annum.

2010s : one death per 13,900 cars per annum.

Driving in snow - RT

Motorways, our safest roads by far, by any measure, have skewed many historical comparisons - because that's where so much vehicle mileage occurs.

As the number of cars per head of population has increased, a bigger proprtion of them is not in use at any one time.

Driving in snow - galileo

Motorways, our safest roads by far, by any measure, have skewed many historical comparisons - because that's where so much vehicle mileage occurs.

As the number of cars per head of population has increased, a bigger proprtion of them is not in use at any one time.

There is also the factor that so many roads are now so congested it isn't easy to go fast enough to kill yourself.

Driving in snow - Bromptonaut

The bus stopping area excuse brings visions of Reg Varney from On The Buses

I don't think it's an excuse GB though maybe H&S errs on side of caution. School remains closed today after a heavy overnight freeze. Head's statement says:

The snow and ice that continues to lie makes for potentially dangerous travelling conditions for students and staff. Following a further assessment this morning, bus companies cannot guarantee safe passage through all areas.

Having heard neighbour's cars moving over slush earlier it's difficult to disagree. Won't stop me from going to London to meet ex-colleagues for lunch. Mrs B is trying to find out if Uni access/campus at Harcourt Hill is OK before setting off for a three day stint in Oxford.

Driving in snow - John F

By the way, if someone, anyone, has their wits about them, at some places i've worked the companies used to pay a fee and the road gritter would drive round the yard spreading his wares as he passed by, surely with all the brains involved in a large school it couldn't be beyond them to organise something so obvious.

The gritter driver would probably need CRB/DBS checks done to ensure low risk of photographing or kidnapping children for nefarious purposes..... as for 'brains' in a large school, who but the most dedicated and vocational brainy types would embark upon a career teaching in a large UK state school these days.....

Driving in snow - Dogfuzz

OK-Lovely sunny morning--far colder than yesterday-but schools are seemingly open even though every local country road is still blocked or totally frozen solid. Looking out of my office window just seen a local neighbour, leaving for work later than usual( to avoid the rush?!)-husband( or man of the house) at home-going out to her car for a de-ice session. Uses one of those awful hard £1shop plastic icers , but gets stuck reaching for the top of the windscreen of 4x4, so scapes the plastic all over the windscreen( urgh!!).Side windows fine after a good 3 minute scrape. Starts engine, windscreen wipers won't work because they are frozen solid and haven't been released from impacted snow around the base. Neighbour then sits in car for at least 8 minutes while car warms. Why didn't her husband come and help? why did she not start the engine first then use some common sense and take a litre of cold to lightly warm water to the whole front windscreen area, then lightly scrape the remaining ice off?

Finally after at least 20 minutes she drove off without removing the 4 inches of snow that had fallen over the roof on sunday pm, nor the impacted snow around/across the front headlight zones

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car