June 13, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Mastering Safe Driving in Challenging Weather Conditions: Top Tips for UK Motorists

Adverse weather can make life on the road incredibly challenging. This goes especially if the car, or the driver, are not adequately prepared to deal with the conditions.

Many modern cars include excellent safety features designed to help you cope with adverse weather. And you don’t need to spend a huge amount to access them. You can find an approved used Peugeot 208 for sale from online vendors, which should provide a superior driving experience to many older cars during winter.

If you want to get the best possible performance from your vehicle, whether you’re driving it on a clear day, or through a blizzard, then it pays to understand the risks and take steps to avoid them.

Understanding Weather Hazards

Different weather conditions will present different safety challenges. Fog and rain will tend to restrict visibility, which will put you at greater risk of suffering a collision. The later you see a hazard, after all, the later you can apply the brakes. Other problems, like standing rainwater, ice and snow will naturally extend your stopping distance, and put you at risk of sliding.

Preparing Your Vehicle

The vehicle itself will need to be prepared for tough road conditions. Check the tyres, brakes and lights before you head out. Make sure that you check your foglights and full-beams, too. It’s a good idea to include an emergency kit, comprising food, blankets and first-aid, too. You might find yourself stranded at the roadside, after all.

Driving Techniques

So, how should you be driving differently during winter? For one thing, you should be driving slower. Excess speed is associated with collisions, especially during wet weather. Maintain a reasonable distance from the car in front, and use your headlights to obtain the optimal view of the road ahead.

It’s possible to control a slide, if you’re experienced enough. In most cases, you’ll be releasing the accelerator and steering as gently as possible. But the better approach is to avoid them altogether by limiting your acceleration and braking.

Staying Informed and Making Smart Decisions

By checking the weather forecast before you head out, and avoiding unnecessary travel, you can avoid many of these problems. The Met Office offers plenty of worthwhile guidance, alongside the warnings they occasionally issue during bouts of severe weather. If you see that a particular road has been closed, then don’t try to use it – even if you have experience of the area.

In the UK, really severe weather is mercifully rare – but this can actually make it more dangerous, since British motorists often lack the experience and resources needed to tackle it. The best approach is to be as cautious as possible – and ideally delay travel until after the worst of the weather has passed.