Safe driving whatever the weather

Safe Driving, Whatever the Weather

Safe driving is important for not only your own safety but the other road users and pedestrians. We take lessons and a driving test to make sure that our driving skills are up to scratch and we don’t develop bad habits.

The number one rule of driving is often put forward as being in 100% control at all times. The trouble is that with so many different factors that could affect our driving, conditions can sometimes become dangerous within the blink of an eye.

One factor that seems to cause a lot of accidents is the weather. Driving in adverse weather conditions can alter any aspect of driving; reaction times, braking distance and speed amongst many. It’s important to be extra careful when driving in adverse conditions as these can often be the instances which lead to an accident.

Rain is unfortunately all too common in the UK; heavy downpours can make driving on the motorway incredibly treacherous with all the spray flicked up by larger vehicles. When driving in the rain you need to be mindful of your braking, in the wet your tyres will lose traction and cause the car to skid so make sure you lower your speed and ensure your windscreen wipers are in full working condition.

Snow and Ice
It’s no surprise that the peak time of year for collisions and road accidents is winter. With snow and ice on the road your car may lose traction and skidding to a halt when braking is fairly common so it is advised to drive very slowly and allow additional time for your journey. You should brake softly and early due to the possibility of black ice forming. This happens when the slush and compacted snow gathers in-between the tire tracks and can look invisible to motorists.

Sun and heat
The heat can be as much trouble as the cold when driving. In hot weather, tarmac roads can be affected and start to soften. This, when coupled with increased heat in your tyres, can affect steering and braking. It’s also recommended that all fluids and coolants are topped up when driving hotter weather, to avoid overheating. Sunny weather may also affect your visibility so keep a pair of sunglasses handy and your windscreen clear of smudges or marks as the sun can intensify the appearance of them.

The elements can certainly affect our driving and therefore it’s advisable to take extra care, also ensuring that the car is in full working order such as brake and headlights, window wipers and screen wash. Checking that your tyres have the legal minimum of tread is important too as many adverse weather conditions can affect the level of grip your car has on the road.

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