Each year, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) takes many enquiries from members of the public and employers about staying safe during the winter months. We are committed to the philosophy that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible, and we encourage people - particularly children - to get out and about to enjoy the wintry weather.
We have a range of saftety advice available on our website.
Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accident, thankfully, the consequences of many falls on snow or ice are simply minor bumps and bruises.
In previous years, however, thousands of people have been admitted to hospital after suffering more serious injuries after falls during wintry weather. Figures from the Hospital Episode Statistics for England show there were 7,031 admissions to hospital in 2012/13 as a result of people falling over on snow or ice.
Tips on how to avoid slipping in adverse weather:
Remember - as well as slips and trips on pavements and in public places, many people fall over on their own footpaths and driveways. Take care in these places too.Read more
More than half (54%) of UK drivers would endanger themselves and their vehicles by driving through moving flood water, according to a joint Environment Agency and AA survey.
The research of 21,165 AA members, also revealed that more than a quarter (27%) of respondents would drive through moving flood water deeper than 30cm, which is enough to move a car. The Environment Agency and the AA strongly advise not entering flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep.
A third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks. Last year, the second wettest on record in the UK, claimed the lives of several motorists. In the same period, the AA rescued almost 9,000 vehicles that had driven through or were stuck in flood water, with an estimated insurance bill of more than £34 million.
Phil Rothwell, head of flood strategy and engagement at the Environment Agency, said:
"Tragically people die because they've taken risks and attempted to drive through flood water just to save a few minutes. Flood water is dangerous, dirty and it can carry disease. If there is widespread flooding in your area then don't travel and if a road is closed then turn around and make a detour. Your journey could take you a little longer but making the right decision could ultimately save your life.
"You can check the flood forecast on the Environment Agency website to help you plan."Read more
The UK is going to see a very short, sharp, cold snap. From Wednesday night (4 Dec) into Thursday morning (5 Dec) Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland will see some strong winds, while Scotland will see some wintry showers and snow. However temperatures will return to normal as we head through the weekend, and be more in line with what should be expected for December.
A rapidly deepening Atlantic depression is expected to move in an easterly direction to the north of Scotland bringing westerly gales, with gusts of 60 to 70 mph extending southwards across northern and some central parts of the UK on Wednesday night and Thursday. Northern Scotland could see gusts of 80mph, and potentially 90mph for a time.
Because of this the Met Office has issued a Yellow Severe Weather Warning for strong winds. The public should be aware of possible disruption to travel, especially across Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and Northern England.
The winds are expected to veer northerly and bring the colder arctic air southwards across northern areas before easing into Friday. The winds could exacerbate high tides and may increase the risk of coastal flooding in the Northern and Western Isles and along the East Coast of England.
A Yellow warning for snow is also in place. It runs from 6am Thursday to 12 noon on Friday, covering the northern half of Scotland, snow showers are expected to be most frequent across the Northern Isles, the North Highlands and northern Aberdeenshire. Low laying areas could see 2 - 5cms of snow and higher altitudes 10 - 20cms. In addition the strong winds could lead to some drifting of snow and possibly blizzard conditions on higher ground. Icy conditions may also develop on some roads across Scotland on Thursday night and Friday morning.
This is expected to be a short-lived cold snap, with temperatures quickly recovering to near normal over the weekend.
Our video explains what to do during a Yellow warning for wind. You can also download a weather warnings widget for your website.Read more
There are some headlines in the media today which suggest the Met Office is warning of exceptionally cold weather for three months.
However, the Met Office hasn't issued a warning along these lines and we have not highlighted months of 'exceptionally cold' weather ahead. If there is any sign of significantly cold weather or disruptive snow in the forecast, we will keep the country up to date through our forecasts and warnings.
The news stories are based on information taken from our three month outlook for contingency planners, so let's take a closer look at that.Read more
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics this week have highlighted the true extent of the problem older people in the UK have keeping warm during the winter period.
Last year alone, there were 31,100 'excess winter deaths' occurred in England and Wales in 2012/13 - a 29% increase compared with the previous winter.
Age UK, with the support of John Lewis, has launched its Spread the Warmth campaign, to increase awareness of the impact of cold weather on older people in particular and provide the UK's older citizens with the help they need to stay warm, all winter long.
With that in mind, here are some toasty tips to help spread the warmth this winter.Read more
There are practical steps you can take to support your community in preparing for winter weather.
Helping you keep warm and well this winter.
There are certain practical steps that you can take to protect your home from winter weather.
Preparations and precautions when travelling in winter.
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