Top tips for driving in bad weather conditions

23 November 2019 /

Winter is well and truly here and, as the temperature drops and the nights draw in, driving conditions can become treacherous. The combination of poor visibility and slippery roads can make driving in the winter an intimidating prospect. Don’t be put off though. With a few simple precautions, you can stay safe behind the wheel, whatever the weather. 

Slow down

This might seem obvious, but slowing down in poor weather can make a huge difference. Wet or icy conditions greatly increase your stopping distance, making a collision more likely. Reducing your speed will give you more time to correct a skid or avoid an unexpected obstacle. Never break the speed limit in poor weather, and reduce your speed to 10 or 15 mph below the limit if conditions are particularly bad. 

Watch out for black ice

Black ice is especially dangerous because it is almost invisible. At night, you may be able to spot it in the reflection of your headlights, but during the day this isn’t an option. Black ice is most likely to form on bridges or in the shade of trees or tall buildings, so be especially careful when driving in these locations.

Don’t brake while turning

Braking during a turn is a major cause of skidding. It’s best to slow down well before a curve and then coast through the turn without applying the brake or the accelerator. If you do begin to skid, the most important thing is not to panic. Avoid braking and turn gently into the skid in order to regain control. 

Be wary of floods

If a road is flooded, it’s best to avoid using it altogether. If you have no choice but to drive through a flood, then you should stay in first gear and drive very slowly in the middle of the road if it is safe to do so. Gently test your brakes immediately after leaving the flood.