If it’s not thick snow, it’s heavy rain; not to mention fog or even glaring sunlight. This country seems to throw it all at us – making driving a hazardous occupation all year round.
Don’t let the weather get the better of you this winter.
Here are a few handy hints and things to keep in mind next time the elements try their hardest to make your journey to work even more difficult than it already is.
Driving in Rain
When road surfaces are wet it can take twice as long to stop your vehicle and regular stopping distances go out the window. You should always keep your speed much lower when driving in the rain and keep that extra bit of distance from the vehicle in front.
If you are driving through standing water then make sure drive slowly, using a low gear and trying to keep the engine revving at a high rate. Move forward continuously so that you don’t stall
Should you lose control of your vehicle in the wet – remember – Don’t brake or steer suddenly as you have no control of the steering or brakes when aquaplaning. Try to bring the car to a slow halt by changing down the gears.
- Slow down
- Don’t brake hard
- Use low gears
Driving in Fog
As fog is usually patchy, it’s best not to speed up when the weather seems to have cleared. Keep a steady speed (slower than normal) as there’s a good chance you will run into other patches further up the road.
You also need to keep your headlights dimmed so that other drivers can see you, and in extreme conditions (visibility less than 100m) you should also turn your rear fog lamp on.
- Keep a steady speed
- Dim headlights
- Use fog lamp
Driving in Snow and Ice
Before going anywhere you should always make sure your car is clear of snow. As well as the windscreen you must also clear the roof of your car, as snow that has settled here can slip down when you brake; obscuring your vision.
As obvious as it sounds – you should keep your speed down when driving in snow and ice. This isn’t just to avoid a speeding fine; it gives you more control over the vehicle.
If you do need to stop, try to slow down gradually by using the gears. Braking suddenly could cause your car to slide uncontrollably. Sticking to roads that have already been gritted is a safer option, even if everyone else has the same idea.
- Clear windshield and roof
- Don’t brake suddenly
- Keep to treated roads
Driving in Wind
You may not think so – but driving in windy conditions can be as dangerous as any other inclement weather. If you are driving a van or high-sided vehicle you may need to check ahead for any road or bridge closures.
You also need to be aware of falling objects like trees or branches. If you normally take a back road or short cut to work via country lanes; it may be wise to stick to major roads until the storm has passed.
- Plan ahead
- Be aware of falling objects
- Stick to main roads
Our thanks to Caddick Davies (Motoring Offence Lawyers) for sending this helpful driving tip information. The same applies to the U.S., Canada, and other countries who experience extreme weather conditions.