Advice and Tips

Winter Driving Tips

Advice and Tips // 07 December 2015

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At this time of the year the weather can sometimes make driving conditions challenging. In 2014, 29 people were killed and 251 seriously injured on British roads in reported road accidents when there was ice or snow on the road surface according to figures from the Department for Transport.

Driving in the rain, ice and snow can be hazardous, but there are some simple things you may be aware of, that although may seem obvious can help to ensure that you have a safe journey.

Consider your journey:

  • Is your journey really necessary?
  • Planning your journey in advance can help you to avoid areas that may be flooded.
  • Allow extra time for your journey to take into consideration slower speeds on the road and potential congestion. Therefore, you will not feel rushed to reach your destination. Allow extra time for slower speeds on the road and potential congestion.
  • Before you set off carry out a quick check to ensure that your headlights are working properly to ensure that you will have full visibility when driving.
  • Check your tyre treads, for winter motoring it is recommended to have at least 3mm of tread, or definitely no less than 2mm.
  • If the weather is frosty, spend time de-frosting your car to make sure you can see out of both screens and your windows.

When you are driving:

  • Adjust your driving style, and be aware that stopping distances increase when there is rain on the roads. Did you know that it takes twice as long to stop on the road after it has been raining than it does in dry weather? Remember the four second rule, which is the recommended minimum distance you should travel behind the vehicle immediately in front of you.
  • Driving through a flood can cause serious damage to your car, so unless you can be certain that water of the depth of the water you encounter, then it is best not to drive through it.
  • Aquaplaning can be very dangerous and have serious consequences. You’ll be aware that this is occurring because your steering will suddenly feel very light and unresponsive and you’ll also be able to hear the water roaring through the wheel arches. If this happens, it is best to release your foot from the accelerator and use the pedals gently to allow the car to gradually slow down.
  • Winter weather can mean reduced visibility, so in poor weather conditions, consider using your lights, making sure you have chosen the correct ones.  For example, when it is raining it is best to use your headlights to give you greater visibility.
  • Apply the brakes gently to avoid losing control of your vehicle or the car.