Winter safety tips
From strong winds and sleet, to even snow in some parts of the country, winter conditions can pose additional challenges for riding. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
Be safe, be seen
Being visible to all road users plays a big part in keeping you safe on the road. One of the best ways to stay visible is to wear brightly coloured clothing (preferably fluorescent and reflective – your Deliveroo jacket is ideal!), and to ensure you have working lights on your vehicle.
If you’re on a bicycle it must be fitted with a white front light, a red rear light, a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors (front and rear on each pedal).
Make sure you also have your helmet at all times – but remember to take off your helmet when you go into a restaurant, shopping centre, station or other building.
Check your brakes and tyres
In wet conditions, bicycle rubber rim brake pads wear out faster. You can use harder or specialised materials to avoid having to change pads constantly – or you can change to disk brakes.
Thicker bicycle tyres with deeper tread will give you greater grip on the road and provides more protection against punctures. Inner tubes filled with sealant are helpful, too. It’s always a good idea to have a puncture repair kit and pump handy! With more dirt and grime on the roads in the winter months, mudguards are especially useful.
If you use a scooter or car, you must have a proper set of winter tyres. This will make sure you have good grip on the roads on wet, cold and icy winter days.
Ride according to the conditions
Ride with caution, allowing plenty of time to react in damp or icy conditions – remember, braking distances should be doubled in wet weather.
Avoid harsh braking (unless it’s an emergency) and brake progressively – ideally using your back brake if cycling. When going around a corner, it’s important to avoid braking and accelerate smoothly.
You can lower your bicycle saddle to provide more traction for the wheels and make it easier to put your feet flat on the ground if you need help stopping.
At this time of year, leaves, debris and dirt can build up at the side of the road and around drains – this can be slippery so make sure to try and avoid these areas. Also, painted road markings and metal manhole covers can be particularly slippery.
Keep safe, dry and warm
Layering is key to keeping warm in the colder months. There are three main layers to help you keep warm.
Base Layer: The “keep-you-dry” layer. Starting at the skin, this layer should be soft, comfortable, thin and contain good wicking properties. Wicking is how the fabric draws liquid away from the skin towards the outer layers. It is important for moisture not to stay in contact with the skin.
Insulating Layer: The “keep-you-warm” layer. This layer includes shirt and trousers, and, depending upon weather conditions, you may need to add a vest as another insulating layer. Keep away from cotton fabrics, including jeans, as they absorb moisture. This layer should be loose fitting and light-weight, and have the ability to trap air but still allow moisture to pass through.
Outer Shell Layer: The “protect you from the elements” layer. This layer should be wind and water-proof, light-weight and have the ability to breathe. Look for jackets that extend below the waist, and have elastic or drawstrings around the cuffs and hems.
We hope these tips help! If you have any additional questions, please get in touch with our Rider Support team via the Help Centre.