With summer now behind us and the Autumnal weather already upon us, several countries have already been hit with extreme adverse weather conditions. Extreme weather, especially in the winter months, can be dangerous in many aspects, so we have compiled 5 simple tips for road maintenance in preparation for the harsher weather.
1. Repairing Potholes
Potholes are irritants at the best of time. But particularly in cold, icy or wet weather, potholes can be a real danger to road users. It’s a good idea to assess your roads and have pot holes filled and levelled in preparation for the winter months.
Although general smoothing of a road’s surface to eradicate pot holes is beneficial, it can however alter the surface skid resistance. To combat this, roads can have texture depth measurements taken. Texture depth is a measure of macrotexture and provides an indication of the overall roughness of the surface. This roughness assists in both vehicle braking and the dispersal of water from the contact areas between the road and vehicle tyres. The macrotexture of a road surface is known to contribute significantly to skid resistance, predominantly at medium to high speeds, meaning testing is a must for your road’s winter risk assessment.
2. Grip Testing
Maintenance of adequate levels of skid resistance on all classifications of roads is an important aspect of their design and one that directly contributes to user safety and lower levels of skid related accidents. Now that autumn and winter are approaching, grip testing road surfaces is essential for your road safety assessments.
The GripTester skid resistance survey identifies spaces which have poor surface friction and produces a GripNumber. Using this, suitable safety procedures can be put in place to improve the grip of road surfaces, therefore reducing the risk of danger or harm occurring on roads and public surfaces.
3. Ensure you have a stock of grit for icy weather
Simple anti-icing and deicing treatments are usually a quick, straightforward way to protect road surfaces from unnecessary slippage. There are modern liquid anti-icing and deicing products which can be used on driveways, roads and highways if necessary.
Traditional grit and rock salt can be lifesaving in reducing accidents on the roads which could have been caused by slipping on icy, weathered roads. It is a good idea to stock up on grit or salt for private premises as it is not usually provided to members of the public or local businesses.
For your personal driveway, walkway or private road maintenance, be prepared by keeping a good supply of grit at hand throughout the year. Grit and rock salt are readily available at hardware and DIY stores as well as online. Now is the time to buy – don’t get caught out when you need it most!
4. Road Markings
Local councils, authorities and businesses should use this time of year to freshen up road markings and signage. Worn markings can easily distract motorists trying to ascertain the rules of the roads especially in icy or snowy conditions. Clear, well maintained road markings can literally save lives, they set out safe zones on roads and motorists can drive safely under these vital signs. If left until the winter months to apply a lick of paint, weather could easily be your worst enemy which makes the unmarked roads a very unsafe place to be.
5. Clear Debris
Clearing debris from the roads and motorways can seem like a trivial job, but during winter months these tasks can be laborious, take time and create huge amounts of traffic build up. Winter maintenance services can be put in place to prevent snow and ice formation and also for snow removal from footways, car parks, carriageways and access roads. Get contacts lined up for snow blowers and snow ploughs in case the preparation just isn’t enough. If debris is cleared, the road management and maintenance is one step ahead of making winter driving safe for road users and pedestrians alike.
These simple tips for effective road maintenance in preparation for winter months will take the strain off reactive responses to road safety by taking a proactive approach whilst the weather conditions are still manageable. This ideally leads to a decline in the number of road accidents, and maintains a safe infrastructure for everybody.
For help and advice on determining the safety and performance of your roads in preparation for the winter weather contact National Testing today. We carry out professional skid and grip testing under a variety of conditions to ensure your roads are adhering to robust safety standards.