We’ve all faced some pretty challenging driving conditions over the past week or so, to say the least. Although you may have managed to stay safe so far, it’s not quite over just yet..
..cue stormy weather.
Just as you were getting to grips with driving in the snow (or getting good at avoiding it completely), storms bring about a whole host of new weather experiences to deal with, such as strong winds and heavy rain. Fasten your seatbelts, we’ve put together some tips on how to keep safe when you’re taken by storm:
- Avoid using your car if possible – this will always be our first recommendation. If it looks bad, don’t drive in it unless you absolutely have to. Have a duvet day or use another mode of transport if possible.
- Make sure everything is in order – although this is something you should always keep on top of, in stormy weather it’s all the more important! Make sure your windscreen wipers are working and that your tyres have enough tread (remember – The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm). Read more in our tyre guide. Make sure the heater works so you can use it not just to keep you warm, but also to effectively clear the mist from the inside of the car’s windows.
- Slow down – there is no need to drive at the speed limit (remember it’s a maximum not a target). If the conditions of the road are too slippery/it’s too windy or visibility is low, reduce your speed. Refer to The Highway Code rules 125 and 126 for more information.
- Keep your distance – this is probably one of the most important safety tips we can give you. In rainy weather the time it takes for you to come to a stop (even when you put your foot fully down on the brake) will increase. You may feel that you are able to brake in time, but never underestimate other road users.
- Be mindful of large vehicles – they may not be able to see you! Either that or if you get too close you will be battling lots of spray (particularly on motorways).
- Turn your lights on – turn your dipped beam headlights on to help other vehicles see you (even if its daylight). Remember, you mustn’t use your fog lamps unless the visibility is very poor
- Keep a firm grip on the wheel – keep both hands on the wheel in case the wind begins to move your vehicle or if you hit surface water (aquaplaning)
For more in depth information and further details on driving in difficult conditions, why not take a look at our blog posts on what to take with you in the car this winter, driving in snow and ice and driving in fog.
Just in case the unfortunate does happen make sure you’re prepared by reading our guide on what to do if you have an accident.
Just remember it’s perfectly natural to feel anxious driving in these sorts of conditions, but follow the above steps and adapt your driving style and you should start to learn and build your confidence for the next time you have to drive in rain, snow or wind.