Traffic accident prevention: Safely through the dark season

Police Headquarters Münster - Traffic Directorate

Chief inspector Christoph Becker, our expert on traffic accident prevention, shows what to look out for in the cold and dark seasons. Mist in the morning hours or early darkness in the evening in the cold season change the traffic conditions to the disadvantage of all participants.

Even Hermann Hesse recognized the problems of damp weather in the late autumn in his poem “In the Mist” and wrote:

“Now that the fog is falling, no one is visible.”

be significantly increased beyond the half-speed interval and the speed must be adapted to the weather conditions. Anyone who drives a motor vehicle in ice, snow, snow slush or frost, must be equipped it with winter tires. But you should also be careful on roads covered with fallen leaves, because the wet leaves can affect the ground adhesion of the vehicle and extend the braking distance.

Proper lighting is essential

Before departure, an extensive inspection of all lighting equipment should be carried out. This also includes, of course, cleaning the headlights before driving and possibly in the meantime.


Editor’s note: A detailed article on the subject of departure control and a free checklist can already be found in our blog. Christoph Becker has also put our checklist “Abfahrtskontrolle” especially to the heart of the readers of this newsletter!


“See and be seen”. This also means that the windows have to be scratched completely free of ice before departure. A “peephole” is not enough. The wiper blades should not pull streaks and a frost-proof, filled windscreen washer system should be self-evident and is also subject to a legal obligation.

Do not forget the roof

Snow planks and ice chunks falling down from preceding trucks are a great danger and challenge year after year. You are obliged to check before the departure whether ice or snow panels have formed on the “roof”!

Christoph Becker

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