Driving in poor weather conditions
From thick heavy layers of snow to heatwaves we never saw coming, the UK has always had a vast spread of weather. And just as we adapt to these conditions with our clothing and activities, our driving is also something that should change along with it. Here a few tips to help you out as the seasons change.
Driving in the rain
As taught in the modern theory test, when a road is wet your stopping distance doubles from what it would be on a dry road. This happens due to the wet surface causing the tyres to have less grip on the road. In order to keep you safe and prevent accidents, try keeping a stopping distance that is twice what you would usually. When steering begins to feel unresponsive especially, a sign your tyres are not gripping then road as they usually do. Rather than panicking, gently ease off the accelerator and brake slowly. Any quick movements with the braking (unless of course in an emergency) can lead to skidding and may worsen the danger for yourself. Be aware that even if it is not currently raining, previous showers can have left the road wet for several hours after, and the same caution should applied here.
Driving in hot weather conditions
Something that a large percentage of drivers are not aware of, is how the heat can affect your driving. In the hot weather, the roads surface expands and softens, causing the steering and braking to be the two components most effected. When driving take extra care to avoid any accidents, things such as taking extra time to slow down and turn corners may be life saving!
Driving in the snow
A huge majority of people hate driving in the ice and snow, however for some travel is essential no matter the weather. One of the most vital things for travelling in this weather is to know how you car can cope with the snow conditions, leaving extra time for your journey, and take into consideration it is one of the most dangerous weathers to drive in. Before even leaving for your journey, ensure your car is road safe, this includes demising all windows whilst removing snow from the roof, number pates and external mirrors.
If possible winter tyres can be installed to give your vehicle the best grip on the road possible. This may help your braking distance however you still should be keeping a distance 10 times longer than usual from the vehicle in front to keep yourself and other road users safe.
Driving in the fog
Fog is a type of weather that almost seems to appear suddenly, and it is important that even if fog appears mid drive, you follow some steps to keep you safe. As soon as visibility is restricted 100 metres, fog lights should be switched on. Ensure you know how to do this in your vehicle and check them regularly to ensure they are working. Keep a safe stopping distance from cars in front and be aware at night the fog may make it hard to see even a few metres in front of you.