Blog


Be Prepared for Bad Weather Driving


(Image Source: Flickr)

When it comes to bad weather conditions the best advice is to avoid driving, but that’s not always possible. Heavy rain, fog, and icy roads make roads more treacherous and driving more difficult. If you have to travel in bad weather this autumn, there are a few things that you can do to mitigate dangerous conditions.

Leave More Distance Between You and the Car in Front

If you want to drive safely in bad weather, then make sure that there is more distance than usual between you and the vehicle in front. In wet weather the stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front can double. In icy weather, it can increase your stopping distance ten fold. If you have to go out, then play it safe and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front. Ignore the hoots and shouts of drivers behind you; leaving more space is the right thing to do.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared for any emergency when you are driving, especially when you drive long distances. In autumn and winter British weather is notoriously unpredictable, so be ready for any trouble when you are out. You should always carry rubber wellies and a spade in your boot, just in case you need to dig yourself out of bad weather conditions.

Make sure that you carry extra clothing when you drive in bad weather, as it’s all too easy for your body temperature to drop, which can be dangerous. If you need to embark on a long journey in bad weather, make sure that you have a flask with hot drinks and some biscuits or snacks. You can’t always be sure of stopping close to a motorway service station, and even if you can, when the roads are busy, service stations are notoriously expensive.

Vehicle Maintenance and Checks

It is unfortunately the case that too often, drivers think that they have enough oil and water in their vehicle, or that their tyres are sufficiently pumped up and the treads not too worn. Be on the safe side; before starting your journey, check your oil and water levels. You should do this on a regular basis, and especially if you have to go on a long trip. You should also check your tyres regularly. If your tyres aren’t OK, you are more likely to have problems with your stopping time when there is not enough grip, especially when the weather is wet or icy. If you want to arrive safely, then your tyres should have a 3mm tread depth to be road worthy.

Finally, make sure that your windscreen wipers are working effectively, and that there’s enough fluid in the bottle to clear the windows. You should carry an ice scraper in your car, as you never can tell when it will be needed. Batteries are far more likely to die in winter, so if you’ve had your car battery for five years or more then get it checked before you undertake a long journey in bad weather.