We have pulled together a few handy tips for drivers who are planning to take a trip in difficult weather...
If possible, drivers shouldn’t take to the roads in bad weather. If a journey is absolutely essential, try to avoid all possible distractions. This should be the case whenever you’re taking any journey. But it’s really important when in dangerous conditions, as you’ll need to pay full attention to what’s happening on the road. Staying alert is key. Concentrate at all times and ensure that you’re well-rested before setting off.
Drive carefully & slowly
When the conditions outside are particularly bad, drop your speed a little and take things a little slower. This can help to minimise any risks that might occur if you were travelling faster, give you more time to react and focus on what’s in front of you. Make sure you plan as much time as possible for your trip, so you’re not tempted to rush or increase your speed.
Ensure you have essentials
Packing some essentials in your car is just that, essential – especially if you’re planning to take a longer trip in rainy weather. Water, warm clothing and a first aid kit are just some of the things that you might need, just in case your trip takes longer, or traffic is held up for a long time. Your journey could take longer in poor conditions. You may want to also make sure you have a sufficient amount of petrol, before setting off.
Aquaplaning is where there’s a build-up of water on the road in front of your vehicle when driving and your car’s tyres can’t move that water out of the way quick enough. This can increase the risk of your car skidding and losing grip when travelling at speed. Always try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front and, if you can, avoid large puddles of water that have pooled on the road. If this isn’t possible, pump your brakes several times after driving through water – this helps to dry out the discs to improve braking.
Pay attention to your lights
Keeping your lights in full working order is particularly important, as trickier weather can make it harder to see what’s in front of you, beyond a certain distance. For example, if rainfall becomes particularly heavy, you might struggle to see cars stopping in front of you – lights are vital in preventing this. Likewise, visibility may be made more difficult in darker conditions throughout the day. It’s crucial you check that you have your lights on and that they’re working, before you start driving.
Leave Room in Front
Many experts recommend doubling the "cushion" between you and the car in front of you when you’re driving in rain, snow, sleet, etc. Brake time is slower when these kinds of weather occur, so you must allow yourself more room. It’s advised to allow yourself a 2 second gap from the vehicle in front of you. In bad weather, you should at least double this distance, to give yourself more time to react.