Many of us get complacent during winter months, but the colder weather brings with it additional hazards that we need to be mindful of. It’s easier to get sick and to have accidents in the road. With this in mind we’ve put together some Winter Safety tips to keep in mind over the next few months.

If you’re working outside, Layer-up.

  1. Inner Layer: Wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and don’t absorb moisture. Wool, silk, or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.
  2. Insulation Layer: An insulation layer will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibres, like wool or goose down, or a classic fleece work best.
  3. Outer Layer: The outermost layer helps protect you from wind, rain, and snow. It should be tightly woven, and preferably water and wind resistant, to reduce loss of body heat.

Additional Tips:

  • Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly.
  • Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
  • Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Be Cautious About Travel

  • Check the weather forecast before you hit the road
  • Check your car’s water, oil and wiper-blades before starting a long drive
  • Keep your windows clean (inside and out) and allow an extra few minutes to fully de-mist your windscreen before driving
  • Clear your entire windscreen of any frost or ice with a scraper or a bank card before you drive anywhere
  • If you have a choice, don’t drive in snowy or icy conditions or in heavy rain
  • Drive to the conditions
  • Turn on your lights if the light is dim or it is raining
  • Increase your following distance and adjust your speed to the conditions
  • For those down south, take extra care during low sun which can cause sun-strike and be prepared with a clean windscreen
  • Don’t drive when you are tired and try to take a short break after two hours of driving
  • Make sure you’ve got all you need should you break down

You can find additional Winter Driving tips from the NZ Transport Agency.